The Environmental Management Agency has served Harare City Council with an environmental protection order, giving it a 10-day ultimatum to clear all the illegal dumpsites in Mbare.
Mbare is Harare's oldest township, home to Zimbabwe's biggest terminus and also houses Harare's biggest vegetable market. Critics accuse the MDC-led Harare council of neglecting it.
Harare Metropolitan Province Environmental Education and Publicity Officer Ms Batsirai Sibanda said the agency had taken advantage of the Covid-19 lockdown to assess the current environmental situation in the city.
Ms Sibanda said they observed that Mbare is dotted with illegal dumps.
"On February 2, 2021, the Environmental Management Agency has served City of Harare with an Environmental Protection Order.
"The circumstance giving rise to serving of the order is of illegal dumps due to non-refuse collection in Mbare in areas that include Mbare Musika Terminus exit, Farmer's Market, Matererini Flats transfer point, Mutare Rank, Remembrance House transfer point and at Corner Chigwida Street and Ardbernie Street."
Ms Sibanda said the agency ordered that on or before February 12, the City of Harare should have cleared all the waste from the above mentioned points and to ensure that any other illegal dumps in Mbare are cleared.
"The agency encourages all local authorities to prioritise waste management issues and to adopt an integrated solid waste management plan, which promotes a circular economy," she said.
Ms Sibanda said of mid-January the environmental agency to date has provided City of Harare with a tractor to collect spoils of waste left during storm drain clearing.
"As you are well aware that we are in the middle of the rainy season and the central business district has a tendency to flood due to excessive rains and blocked storm drains.
"That is why we saw it fit to assist with a tractor to remove the waste spoils," she said.
Apart from Mbare, the city has been struggling to collect refuse in almost every suburb resulting in heaps of uncollected garbage.