May 14, 2021

Refuse trucks tender exposes financial leakages in council

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Ivan Zhakata

HARARE City Council intends to purchase new refuse trucks amid revelations that the city has given up on the recovery of 15 refuse compactors that the local authority bought from a local supplier four years ago but which were never delivered.

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

However, the advert did not specify how many refuse trucks the local authority needed.

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 councillor who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “we have been crying for those 15 trucks which were purchased four 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.”

“The ignoring of the past procured trucks which were not delivered is a clear indication that there is corruption,” she said.

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

The inaction by council on the issue raises more questions than answers, especially when the local authority has sought to buy new trucks without reclaiming the purchased ones that were not delivered.

The City of Harare currently has 14 functional refuse trucks to service 46 wards of Harare, most of which have surpassed their life span.

Meanwhile, CHRA has called on Government to refocus its energies by taking action on the 15 non- delivered refuse trucks saying this is the root cause of waste collection challenges in Harare.

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