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EMA sues Bulawayo Council over raw sewage

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THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has taken the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to court for failing to upgrade its water treatment plants and sewer systems, which has resulted in raw sewage flowing into the water bodies which provide potable water to residents.

The agency wants the court to direct council to repair its sewer pipes and water treatment plant to ensure proper treatment of effluent before discharge into the environment.

EMA, through its lawyers – Dube, Manikai and Hwacha Legal Practitioners – filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court citing BCC and town clerk Mr Christopher Dube as respondents.

The agency is seeking a prohibitory and mandatory interdict against the local authority to immediately stop discharging raw sewage into rivers and streams. EMA said noncompliance by the local authority is causing pollution to Umguza Dam which is located downstream of the Aisleby 3 Sewer Treatment Plant.

EMA said since 2011, BCC has been largely responsible for the pollution of water by carelessly discharging raw effluent into rivers and streams such as the Bulawayo Spruit River, commonly known as Mazai River and Matsheumhlophe, which are critical water sources that provide potable water and are used for agricultural purposes for downstream communities.

In his founding affidavit, EMA’s director for environmental protection unit, Mr Christopher Mushava said BCC is mandated in terms of Section 168 of the Urban Councils Act to ensure the treatment of raw sewage effluent generated within its jurisdiction and to provide potable water to residents.

He said the council was contravening the Urban Council’s Act by failing to treat its raw sewage and to provide potable water to residents for years.

“This is an application seeking a prohibitory and mandatory interdict against water pollution or discharge of raw or untreated effluent by the first respondent (BCC) into the aquatic environment or water sources,” he said.

Mr. Mushava wants an order directing the council to rehabilitate, repair and upgrade its water treatment plants and sewer systems to ensure proper treatment of effluent before discharge into the environment and water bodies as well as ensuring the licensing of any discharge of the effluent in terms of the EMA Act.

He said BCC’s actions were in violation of the Act, which prohibits the discharge of pollutants into water bodies.

Council’s challenges are compounded by the sewer and water reticulation system, which is not fully functional. More than 60 percent of the city’s sewer treatment plants are operating beyond the design capacity against an increased volume of effluent due to the increase in population and expansion of residential areas.

This has resulted in high incidences of sewer bursts posing a serious health hazard to human and aquatic organisms.

Mr Mushava said despite the numerous fines it has paid, BCC continues to pollute the environment, exposing residents to risk.

“Despite the issuance of various orders and tickets as well as the criminal court proceedings, the situation is still deplorable. The local authority has 10 sewer treatment plants and only two are non-operational while the eight are partially working. Resultantly, 40 percent of generated sewer effluent is not reaching the sewer treatment plants due to sewer pipe collapse,” he said.

Mr Mushava said EMA has conducted inspections in areas like Sauerstown where rehabilitation of the deep section sewer has not been done including Silver Crescent in Kelvin West where there is continued discharge of sewage.

At Sauerstown, all the sewage effluent which is supposed to be trunked through a section is being discharged into Bulawayo Spruit River.

Mr Mushava said BCC has failed to take measures of prioritising the proper treatment and disposal of sewage in violation of EMA Act and Regulations, Urban Councils Act and the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“Such actions have violated the rights of citizens of Bulawayo and other districts in Matabeleland North putting their lives at health risks. It is imperative that the first respondent be stopped from discharging raw sewage into water sources and I urge the court to take judicial notice of the cholera outbreak which ravaged the country from August 2008 to July 2009 in which WHO released the figures of 98 952 cases and 4 288 deaths,” he said.

“Bulawayo has itself not been spared in the past recent months from these outbreaks and residents have made several reports of the sewer discharge due to pipe bursts.”

Already, 13 people including two senior citizens from Entembeni Old People’s Home have died following a diarrhoea outbreak in Luveve and surrounding suburbs in May.

The government attributed the disease outbreak to Bulawayo’s 144-hour water-shedding exercise and vandalism of sewerage pipes.

BCC is yet to respond to the suit.

 

The Chronicle

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NEWS

Legendary Footballer George Shaya Dies At Age 77

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Legendary Footballer George Shaya Dies At Age 77

George ‘Mastermind’ Shaya, a five time Soccer Star of the Year and one of the most celebrated soccer legends has died.

He was 77.

Shaya died early on Tuesday morning at his home in Glen Norah A, Harare.

Shaya is among some of the most celebrated yesteryear footballers to have played for Dynamos FC and the Zimbabwe national team.

Popularly known as Mastermind, Shaya turned out for Dynamos during his playing days.

In his illustrious career, Shaya won the Soccer Star of the Year five times; 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976, and 1977, a record which is still to be replicated by any player in history.

The Mastermind passed on barely two weeks after it was announced that a documentary of his legendary career, as one of the most celebrated yesteryear footballers, would be premiered.

At the time of his death, Shaya was walking with the aid of crutches after his left leg was amputated last year.

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Business

Chinese firm unveils US$20m Mining, Agric Loan Facility in Zimbabwe

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Chinese firm unveils Us$2om Mining, Agric Loan Facility in Zimbabwe

Chinese firm, Lovol International Construction Machinery Group, has unveiled a US$20 million equipment loan facility to benefit youths and women in the mining and agricultural sectors.

Lovol, represented by its regional director for East and Southern Africa Mr Terry Song, signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) represented by its president Mr Mike Chimombe to provide mining and farming equipment, including tractors, electric tricycles, combine harvesters, planters, irrigation equipment, solar systems and electric cars.

The company showcased some of the machinery during the signing ceremony in Harare yesterday.

Mr Song said the company will be supporting the Government of Zimbabwe in growing the country’s economy in line with Vision 2030.

“We have the appetite to change the complexion of the economy and we realise that Zimbabweans have got a lot of potential and a missing link was the equipment. Hence we brought in the solution in terms of the equipment. The equipment that we have will certainly be able to give the solution. We have brought equipment that works for agriculture, mining and even road construction. These MoUs we have signed will go a long way in achieving vision 2030.

“Lovol is one of the biggest group in China. We have all kinds of equipment be it mining, agriculture, energy and green power as well. We intend to invest in Zimbabwe to complement Government’s efforts to achieve vision 2030 through capacitating the productive sectors of the country’s economy. Zimbabwe has abundant resources which are untapped, hence the need to bring the equipment to harness the vast mineral resources.”

Mr Terry said China was committed to make Zimbabwe an economic hub. “Together we can make Zimbabwe great.”

He also said that his company will also bring experts to Zimbabwe to service the machinery.

AAG sourced the equipment on behalf of the youths and women in mining and agriculture and will identify the particular individuals and groups who qualify for the equipment.

AAG vice president in charge of operations Mr Munyaradzi Kashambe said: “The signing of the MoU is in line with Vision 2030 .

“As the AAG we are of the strong conviction that the dream of an upper middle income economy by 2030 is indeed achievable earlier than that if we as Zimbabwe remain united and put all hands on deck and support our President. The AAG also believes in the potential of mining and agriculture as the backbone of our economy,” said Mr Kashambe.

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The coming in of Lovol is one of the fruits of President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement thrust and the policy of ensuring Zimbabwe is open for business.

“Let us all support the President’s Vision 2030 and make Zimbabwe great as per his dream. We urge all entrepreneurs to take advantage of the unending opportunities which the Second Republic has unveiled across all sectors.

“Through this partnership the US$12 billion mining economy by 2023 is indeed achievable. This deal benefits all women, youths and every Zimbabwe who are serious about the country’s economic development and Vision 2030 in general.

“As the AAG we are thankful to the visionary leadership of President Mnangagwa and will not leave any stone unturned in supporting the great vision he has for our country,” he said.

Speaking at the same occasion, AAG vice president for women and minorities Ms Anastancia Ndhlovu said the MOU was a game-changer so far as the empowerment of women, and girls and students was concerned.

“They can now access equipment and be active participants in the lucrative male dominated mining and agriculture sectors and so contribute to the country’s economic revival agenda in line with Vision 2030 and the NDS1. I urge all women and students to take advantage of this facility to set up or grow their businesses,” said Ms Ndhlovu.

Read the original article on The Herald.

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Marange teen mother’s parents face arrest

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POLICE yesterday said they had arrested Hatirarami Momberume, also known as Evans Momberume (26), following the alleged death of a 14-year-old minor on July 15 while giving birth at the Johane Marange Apostolic sect shrine in Mafararikwa, Manicaland.

Momberume is facing charges of rape or alternatively contravening section 70 of the code.

The police also said the minor’s parents were facing arrest for faking identity documents of their deceased daughter in a bid to conceal the crime.

The minor died after developing complications while giving birth at the shrine and the matter was concealed until early this month. According to police investigations, the deceased’s first name was Anna Machaya (15) although, she had been previously identified as Memory Machaya.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said that the deceased’s first name was Anna and not Memory as indicated in documents submitted by her parents.

Nyathi said girl’s parents sought to defeat the course of justice by submitting the birth certificate of deceased’s 22-year-old cousin, Memory in a vain attempt to protect the minor’s “rapist” husband Momberume.

Momberume was supposed to appear at Mutare Magistrates Court yesterday, but the matter was postponed to today.

Nyathi said police were pressing criminal charges against the deceased’s mother, Shy Mabika (36) and father Edmore Machaya (45) for obstructing the course of justice.

“Memory Machaya (22) is alive and is actually married to a man called Lameck Makonye alias Sigodhla (54) in Mhondoro. We want to tell Zimbabweans that the person who died is not Memory Machaya. The person who died is Anna Machaya. Memory is alive,” Nyathi said.

“It is clear they were hiding information and it is clear that they also produced fake documents in a bid to hide the death of Anna Machaya. Information that was being presented was now indicating as if Anna was born in 1999, meaning to say that the person by now is an adult, yet in actual fact, she was born in 2006 meaning to say by now she is 15 years old and was married off when she was a minor.

“The parents lied to the police that Anna Machaya was born on January 2, 1999. The mother went on to give police investigators a national identity card in a bid to prove that she was born on January 2, 1999. This was false. Investigations have revealed that the identity card produced to the police belonged to a namesake of the late minor, who is a daughter to Ernest Machaya. This is an uncle to the late Anna Machaya. It is through school records in Mhondoro that the police proved that the late Anna Machaya was born on July 5, 2006 to Edmore Machaya and Shy Mabika. The police have obtained the correct birth certificate copies in respect of Memory Machaya (22) and the late Anna Machaya (15). These are two different people.”

Nyathi appealed for more information on Johane Marange sect members marrying off minor children.

Machaya’s death triggered a global outcry from child rights defenders with the United Nations and several other non-governmental organisations calling on government to end child marriages. Yesterday, different girls from Johane Marange and Johane Masowe Apostolic sects pleaded with stakeholders during a virtual discussion by the Female Students Network to intervene and end early child marriages.

Apostolic sect member Moline Mukomawasha, a University of Zimbabwe student, opened up, saying she had witnessed several girls in the sect being married off.

“Sexual exploitation and the practice of cultural processes happen at apostolic sects, especially the Johane Marange sect,” Mukomawasha said.

“There is also the issue of the virginity tests which is done using unhygienic methods where fingers are inserted into a girl’s reproductive parts. Those that have lost their virginity are forced into marriage with the people that would have impregnated them.”

She said some young girls fell prey to older men during prayer sessions held at the shrines.

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