Not so smart city: Masvingo’s only refuse truck grounded

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By Tonderai Saharo

MASVINGO City Council has gone for a month without collecting garbage, amid reports the municipality only has one working compactor truck.

The countrywide fuel shortages have not helped the situation either, as it has grounded the local authority’s single refuse truck that is used to service its 10 wards.

With a population now exceeding 200 000, rate payers have resorted to dumping waste in open spaces around the country’s oldest urban council with fears of a disease outbreak abound.

The local authority’s Mayor Advocate Collin Maboke, said the city requires at least five refuse trucks to service the 10 wards, adding his council is in the process of trying to find a temporary remedy to the situation.

“The city is operating with a single refuse truck, which is occasionally supplemented by a tipper. Five trucks are most appropriate to meet demand and as council we are now seeking solutions to ensure we supplement the one we have.

“We should be able to come up with a solution at the next council meeting,” Maboke said.

Sources at Civic Center, said the local authority has already passed a resolution to engage private players to help with refuse collection with the tender process set to be opened soon.

However, a local residents pressure group Masvingo Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA), said it has lost patience with the MDC dominated council’s continued failure to deliver services.

“We are extremely concerned about this and worried that a health time bomb is ticking in the midst of residential areas.

“We wonder why council is failing to get funds for fuel purchase, when they squandered thousands of dollars under the guise of attending the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair recently. We demand that they collect refuse as soon as possible or they will face the consequences,” MURRA spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba said.