A GROUP of 236 female waste pickers in Bulawayo have petitioned the city council demanding an amendment of its archaic refuse removal by-laws which do not recognise their service.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) co-ordinator Khumbulani Maphosa confirmed the development, saying the waste pickers submitted their petition last week through councillor Monica Lubimbi.
“Last week on Friday, female waste pickers in Bulawayo submitted to Bulawayo female councillors a plea requesting council to amend the 1979 by-law Statutory Instrument 525 [CAP 214] on Refuse Removal,” Maphosa said.
“On their plea, they were requesting that the by-law should at least recognises the existence of waste pickers as players in the waste management of the city.”
According to Supplement to the Zimbabwe Rhodesia Government Gazette dated July, 27, 1979, the council is responsible for the removal and disposal of all refuse in the city.
“All domestic refuse removed by the council or deposited for removal in any refuse receptacle which the council undertakes to remove shall become the property of the council from the time of the collection of such refuse from outside the boundaries of any premises, in terms of subsection (1) of section 14,” the Gazette reads.
“In section (2), No person who is not an employee of the council shall remove or interfere with any such domestic refuse except with the written permission of the medical officer of health.”
Maphosa said the waste pickers requested that they be consulted on issues to do with waste removal and given facilities to operate from.
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“The female waste pickers also requested for engagement during budget formulation, policy making, environmental decision making and include waste pickers in the city's environmental management forums and platforms,” Maphosa said.
Council is yet to respond to the petition.
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