The City of Harare today took delivery of brand new service delivery equipment at a ceremony officiated by the Mayor, His Worship Bernard G. Manyenyeni at the Town House. The ceremony was witnessed by stakeholders of the City of Harare who included councillors, management and staff and the UCAZ secretariat which was represented by the Secretary General Mr Livison Mutekede.
The equipment is comprised of 9, self-weighing 15 tonner refuse compactors (some branded with images of Harare City soccer team players scoring liter into refuse bins), Steel Roller Compactors and 3 Pneumatic Rollers for road construction and maintenance. The equipment was bought under a US$30 million loan facility obtained from local financial institutions.
Addressing the stakeholders, Mayor Manyenyeni, who is also the President of the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) said it was not an ordinary day in the tenure of his council.
“It is a special day in many ways. Firstly for my council because we have something tangible to leave for Harare and, secondly, to millions that look up to this council for a world class service. It has always been our desire to make a difference, our desire to have a well-equipped council with all pieces of service delivery at its disposal” said the Mayor.
“As we unleash these pieces of equipment, it is our fervent hope and desire that the millions of Harare residents will at least begin to talk positively about their city. Brand Harare has been suffering because of uncollected garbage and bad roads. We are on a mission to revive Brand Harare through reigniting the Sunshine status,” Mayor Manyenyeni said.
The Mayor further informed the stakeholders that council had bought 30 refuse compactors of which the first delivery were the nine on display. The Mayor said that the refuse compactors would be deployed to the newly created service delivery zones and managed by zonal teams in collaboration with the communities serviced by the trucks. He added that the remainder were on their way and would be deployed as soon as they were delivered.
“These vehicles belong to the residents, implying that there should be strict community policing against abuse of these assets,” said the Mayor.
Mayor Manyenyeni also said that drivers of the equipment had been expertly trained to handle the equipment and that more refresher courses would be conducted for the drivers across the city.
In an interview with the UCAZ Communications Officer, Mr Chrispen Musekiwa, the Acting Town Clerk, Mrs Josephine Ncube said that the assets of the city had become depleted adding that for refuse collection, council was struggling to cover all the 46 wards including the central business district and industries. She said this was because the vehicles had been bought in 2012 and were now old and having frequent break downs.
To improve the situation, the Acting Town Clerk said that council had to raise capital funding.
“When you want to recapitalize to the level that we are recapitalizing, you need a lump sum in terms of capital funding. So the first thing we did was to make sure that we put our financial statements in order. We are now audited up to date, up to 2016. It really helped us when we applied for borrowing powers. We applied for borrowing powers up to $30 million. We got tremendous support from both our Ministry of Local Government (Public Works and National Housing) and from the Ministry of Finance (and Economic Development). The Ministry of Finance actually allowed the borrowing powers on condition that those institutions that were going to fund us should not charge interest above 10%,” She said.
Mrs Ncube went on to say that council was able to raise the funding from financial institutions and initiated a rigorous procurement process.
“We are happy that we have now received the first nine trucks compactors out of the 30. And in about one and half weeks we should be receiving the next batch of 12 and, thereafter, we will receive the next batch of 9,” said the Acting Town Clerk.
Mrs Ncube further said that council was expecting to receive 10 tipper trucks, three bulldozers, a Bitumen Distributer, a JetPatcher and other equipment for the roads division.
“For our roads division we are saying once we have received the full complement we should not be hiring equipment. Sixty percent of our budget for the roads maintenance and rehabilitation was going towards the hire of equipment. So what it means now is that we can use all that money to get the bitumen and other inputs that we require. So we are extremely pleased,” said Mrs Ncube.
Mrs Ncube also said that council had procured 25 half-ton utility trucks to be used for supervision.
“As a city we are very excited, because without equipment it’s impossible to deliver the services that we need. And we want this to mark a new beginning in the quality of services that we are going to provide to the people in the city of Harare,” said the Acting Town Clerk.
“We also moving together with the Joint Ventures Unit (in the Ministry of Finance) to conclude the waste-to-energy joint venture because we think that will complement everything that we are doing and we are expecting that by the end of October we should have received the generators for our biogas plant in Mbare and by the time we go for Christmas, we should have all these things in place,” said Mrs Ncube.