Marondera Town Council was yesterday dragged to court and fined $3 000 for environmental pollution and given a seven-day ultimatum to address the issue of raw sewer flowing into the streets or face contempt of court charges.
by Jairos Saunyama
Magistrate Josephine Sande presided over the matter.
In its defence, the local authority, which was represented by director of works Chris Chineka, had argued that it was financially incapacitated and could not stop raw sewage from flowing into the streets. The local authority currently does not have a functioning sewage treatment plant after its Elmswood plant stopped working more than five years ago. This has resulted in council workers directing raw sewage into rivers and other open spaces in the town.
Recently, the Ministry of Health and Child Care threatened to close Rakodzi High and Tapfuma Primary schools in the town after raw sewage from a blocked pipe spilled into the school yards exposing more than 3 000 students to water and airborne diseases. Council later diverted the sewage into a nearby stream.
The cash-strapped council is reportedly divided over how to handle sewer pipes donated by Marondera Central MP Ray Kaukonde after the latter was recently relieved of his Zanu PF and government posts on allegations of plotting President Robert Mugabe’s ouster.