Zimbabwe: Council Still to Get Refuse Trucks 5 Years Later

HARARE City Council intends to purchase new refuse trucks amid revelations that the city has abandoned efforts to recover 15 refuse compactors bought from a local supplier five years ago, but were never delivered.

On Monday, council advertised an invitation for tenders in the media for the supply and delivery of refuse compactors.

The advert did not specify how many refuse compactors the local authority was purchasing.

In 2016, council purchased 15 refuse compactors at a cost of US$3.1 million from FAW Zimbabwe (Mass breed Investments) but the trucks were not delivered.

A councilor who spoke on conditions of anonymity said, "We have been pursuing those 15 trucks which were purchased five years back but they are not coming."

Director of the Young Volunteers for Environment Ms Lauretta Marembo said failure to follow up on the delivery of the previously purchased trucks showed that there were underhand deals within council.

Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said they were purchasing new refuse trucks as an addition to the existing fleet in order to improve on refuse collection.

"We have tendered for a new fleet because we need to resource the existing fleet so that we are able to collect garbage across the city," he said.

"Our residents are not happy that garbage is not being collected so we need to deliver the service to the residents.

"We still have an outstanding issue with FAW with regards to the USD$3.1 million that we paid them for supply of more trucks, so that case is being handled separately and once the outcome of the arbitration is out then the residents will be informed, but as we stand we cannot wait for those negotiations to deliver services."

In August 2020, the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) petitioned Parliament over the matter, but there has not been traction over the issue.

The city council has 14 functional refuse trucks to service 46 wards, of which most of them have surpassed their life span.

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