The mayor of the city of Gweru and Ward 1 councillor, Hamutendi Kombayi, has asked council management to engage the owners of donkey-drawn scotch carts to help in refuse collection.
Illegal firewood hawkers frequent Gweru’s high-density suburbs, merchandising their wares using donkey-drawn scotch carts.
Speaking in a Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) WhatsApp group on 15 August, Kombayi suggested that since the local authority didn’t have enough trucks for refuse collection, it should be innovative and engage the owners of donkey-drawn scotch carts. Said Kombayi:
The deputy mayor, all councillors here present, all protocols observed. May I take this opportunity to emphasize that I am trying to communicate to you this week with regard to refuse collection.
We are going to hold our Midlands Agricultural Show from the 18th to the 21st of this month and as the City of Progress, we need to unite bearing in mind that we have current disease outbreaks.
We need to hold a robust clean-up campaign to avoid all that. The problem is that our council does not have refuse trucks.
We need to make other suggestions so that refuse is collected. I am going to meet the Chamber Secretary so that he engages those with donkey scotch carts.
As the Commander in Chief of Gweru Municipality police, I command that the Chamber Secretary allow those young people who own donkey-drawn scotch carts selling firewood to do their firewood business freely and in return, they collect refuse on behalf of council.
Council management should also think outside the box. If you fail to reach your agreements with contracted trucks, let’s engage owners of donkey-drawn carts to lessen the burden.
Gweru council Public Relations Officer Vimbai Chingwaramusee said refuse trucks have been repaired and are now back on the road. She said:
Our refuse trucks have been serviced and they are back on the road. As we are speaking now, refuse collection has resumed and it’s now back to normal.
As council, we are in the process of planning to adopt a new refuse collection structure where all refuse is collected from one point in all locations.
We saw this model in Bulawayo, it’s a model that engages private contractors in collecting and bringing garbage to one point of collection where our trucks will be collecting.
The majority of Zimbabwe’s urban councils have for years been struggling to collect refuse and as a result, ratepayers have resorted to dumping garbage everywhere including in storm drains.
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