Chitungwiza Municipality has been fined $14 000 by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) following its conviction for discharging raw sewage into the nearby Nyatsime and Manyame rivers.
The council was also found guilty of developing residential and commercial stands on wetlands and for poor refuse removal.
On Wednesday, Chitungwiza council’s director of works Alfonce Tinofa admitted the local authority was discharging 25 megalitres of raw sewage daily into the rivers in contravention of Section 57 of the Act Chapter 20:27, section 5 (1) as read with section 5 (1) of Statutory Instrument 6 of 2007 of the environmental law.
Handing down the ruling, EMA board vice-chairperson Jennifer Tanyanyiwa ordered the municipality to submit a plan to repair and replace all pump stations in order to stop the illegal discharge of raw sewage within two months.
EMA also ordered the council to attend to sewage bursts in all residential areas within a day of reporting, increase the number of effluent holding ponds and resuscitate the use of final effluent to irrigate pastures.
On solid waste management, the environmental body ordered the council to designate waste collection centres, remove all illegal dumpsites and submit a waste management plan by December 31.
Tanyanyiwa ordered the local authority to stop developments on wetlands and ensure wetlands stay protected through formulation of an environmental subject plan.
The council was given until December 31 to submit a payment plan for the outstanding $45 165 for licences and tickets issued by EMA since last year.
Senior council officials who attended the meeting included town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa and director of finance Herbert Chirodza.