A PRIVATE Harare medical centre, AMI Hospital, yesterday appeared in court facing allegations of disposing hazardous biological waste in a public dumpsite in Mt Hampden.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The hospital’s representative, Amos Muradzi, denied the allegations levelled against his employer and blamed the institution’s former worker, Tapiwa Taivavashe, for the offence.
Muradzi told magistrate, Nomsa Sabarauta that the hospital maintained a strict policy of disposing its waste through City of Harare for a special fee.
He said sometime in December last year, Taivavashe allegedly misled the hospital that the local authority had changed its banking details and pocketed the money allocated for waste disposal as he dumped the waste at an illegal site.
“The company continued payments to the new bank account provided, unknowing that the account was not, in fact, a City of Harare one, but an account owned by Taivavashe’s accomplice,” Muradzi said.
“Taivavashe and his colleague would ensure that waste was collected, as though it was going to the City of Harare for proper disposal, yet in reality the waste was being collected and illegally disposed of.”
Environment Management Agency inspector, Obert Chirombo told the court that the hospital’s management failed to explain how they dispose of their biological waste.
“On June 5 this year, we went to AMI Hospital to check on their disposal manager. Unfortunately, they failed to prove how they dispose or manage their waste,” he said.
Allegations are that on May 30 this year, a Harare resident, Cleanboy Kondowe, received information that there was biological waste dumped at an open space and reported the matter to the police.
The waste included blood vials, used surgical gloves, injection powder bottles and hospital documents with AMI Hospital’s physical address.
Investigations revealed that children from the surrounding community opened the blood vials and used the contents as lipstick and nail polish oblivious of the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and Aids, among others.
The trial continues on August 9.