Government yesterday revealed that it will remove local authorities from controlling waste management through ring-fencing the funds they collect from residents for refuse collection, and put them under the supervision of the Environmental Management Agency to ensure that they will not be diverted to other use.
This came out from the post-cabinet briefing yesterday where government said it will adopt measures that include the introduction of a Statutory Instrument (S.I) to make the National Clean Up Programme compulsory for Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Local Authorities, the business sector, vendors, retailers and manufacturers.
Local authorities have been blamed for the poor waste management in urban areas and the rest of the country as they are being accused of being negligent in collecting and managing waste disposal.
“On its part, central Government has made interventions to redress the situation, including introduction of the National Clean Up Campaign in 2018 and declaration of a State of Disaster in Harare Metropolitan Province in 2023. An Emergency Solid Waste Management Programme is currently being implemented under the State of Disaster declaration. However, noting that the mismanagement of solid waste persists, Cabinet approved the following measures to curb the unsustainable accumulation of the waste:
“That a Statutory Instrument will be promulgated to make the National Clean Up Programme compulsory for Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Local Authorities, the business sector, vendors, retailers and manufacturers;
“That Local Authorities should localize the SI by promulgation of the relevant by-laws; That funds collected by Local Authorities from residents for waste management will be ring-fenced in-order to ensure that the Authorities do not divert the funds to other uses, with EMA supervising the usage of the funds”.
Cabinet also pronounced that fines will be introduced to penalise public littering, with offenders attracting a charge of mandatory community service. Rail and road authorities will be ordered to clean road and rail servitudes, while public transporters who are caught littering will be fined.
“Road and rail authorities will be compelled to ensure that road and rail servitudes are litter-free, and to undertake regular clean ups along the servitudes and at lay-bys. Public transport vehicles that dump waste along roads shall be fined up to Level 8 with the responsible transport operator or owner also being liable.
“All Political Parties should be compelled to mobilise their constituents to remove their campaign materials from the environment and ensure that it is properly disposed of with the assistance of local authorities”.