EMA fines Harare $15 000

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Harare City Council was yesterday found guilty by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) of depositing raw sewage into water sources, dishing out stands on wetlands and failure to clean up the environment.

The city, which was represented by acting town clerk Prosper Chonzi, was fined $15 000. The fine should be paid by January 31. Council was ordered to stop allocating stands on wetlands and cease all developments that have commenced there.

Reads the ruling in part: Stop allocations of stands in wetlands with immediate effect. Where the city has approved implementation of developed projects in which development has not yet taken place, to stop such development with immediate effect.

Where the city has given planning permits for development and development has not yet commenced, reverse the permit with immediate effect.

The city was given 24 hours to attend to all burst pipes in all residential areas and ensure the regular removal of sludge from all sewage plants and ponds.
Harare was given until February 25 to remove all illegal dumpsites in the city.

During the hearing, EMA board vice-chairperson Jennifer Tanyanyiwa screened evidence of council discharging raw sewage into water sources in Budiriro as well as illegal rubbish dumpsites.

The city was found wanting in most cases as Chonzi was at pains to explain the problems were caused by residents, government and companies that were not paying rates to council.

The city is owed more than $200 million in unpaid revenue.

Tanyanyiwa ordered the council to publish in the media and city council public boards, a waste management plan outlining the dates, areas and times for refuse collection of the accumulated waste by January 31.