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Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeNewsHarare Residents Groups Denounce Waste Management Privatization Plan

Harare Residents Groups Denounce Waste Management Privatization Plan

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In a heated response to the government’s recent move to privatize waste management services in the capital, the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and the Harare Residents Trust (HRT) have issued a joint statement vehemently opposing the proposal.

The announcement follows Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Daniel Garwe’s, comprehensive update during this week’s post-cabinet briefing.

The statement from CHRA and HRT shows a strong opposition to what they describe as an agenda that seeks to “transfer the city’s assets to the elite class.”

“The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and the Harare Residents Trust (HRT) strongly oppose the attempt by the City of Harare and the national government to privatise service delivery in Harare, especially waste management and water supplies. This agenda aims to transfer the city’s assets to the elite class,” the statement read.

The residents’ groups accuse the central government and certain individuals within the Harare City Council of promoting a privatization agenda that “directly undermines local governance,” citing a lack of thorough consultation with residents and ratepayers as contrary to the principles of democratic governance.

“There has been no thorough consultation with the residents and ratepayers, hallmarks of democratic governance. We urge the Harare City Council to provide transparent information on this matter, including sharing the decisions supporting the privatization of waste collection and water supply in the city, as well as reports on consultations with residents,” the statement continued.

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CHRA and HRT said they had invoked Section 62 of the Constitution, highlighting the need for public institutions to make information available in the public interest, for the protection of human rights, and for public accountability.

“Our demands are consistent with Section 62 of the Constitution which requires public institutions to make available information in pursuit of public interest, protection of human rights, and public accountability. Hiding information creates the unfortunate impression that they have made other financially beneficial arrangements beyond the knowledge of the residents. Privatising these services will not only burden the residents but also invalidate the justification and existence of the local authority, specifically the City of Harare,” added the residents

The groups specifically criticized the government’s push for Geo-Pomona Waste Management Pvt Limited to take over waste management in Harare, calling it “regressive” and questioning the lack of citizen input.

“The government’s push for Geo-Pomona Waste Management Pvt Limited to take over waste management in Harare without citizens’ input and participation is regressive and raises more questions than solutions to the waste management crisis. We completely reject any form of privatisation of municipal services because privatisation has historically failed in providing municipal services and has removed public oversight,” read the statement

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Highlighting the marginalization of residents in local governance, the statement underscores the belief that initiatives without resident participation will fail to benefit the wider community, only serving a select elite.

“This has marginalised residents in the local governance structure. Our stance remains that initiatives devoid of residents’ participation will ultimately fail to produce outcomes beneficial to the residents but rather only serve the few elites driving the agenda. We condemn the autocratic tendencies and centralization of decision-making power and call on both the central government and the Harare City Council to respect the people from whom their authority to govern is derived,” said the residents’ groups.

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