Council discharges raw sewage into water: court told

HARARE - The City of Harare has been taken to court on criminal charges for discharging raw sewage into a stream, defying an Environment Management Agency (Ema) order.

The city council, represented by Takawira Muserere is accused of failing to comply with an order from Ema and discharging pollutants into aquatic environment.

Court papers revealed that an Ema team visited Danny Brook sewage pools on October 9, 2009 and carried out an inspection and found that the treatment plant was not functioning.

Five days later, the court heard an inspector from Ema served the City of Harare with an order to repair the sewage ponds, pumps and secure the perimeter of the pools with appropriate fencing before the end of October 2009

They were to submit a section plan of when the corrective action was to be taken, but City of Harare failed to comply with the order.

Prosecutor Sidom Chinzete said another Ema inspector Tapiwa Munezvenyu visited the ponds in June 2010 and discovered that pipes were broken and discharging sewage into Ventersburg.

According to State papers, Munezvenyu discovered that the sewage was being discharged into a nearby stream and caused water pollution for an unknown period.

The City of Harare denied the allegations when they appeared before Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa.

The council said it needed a confirmation from the minister to effect the maintenance and said the time given to them to comply with the order was “grossly unreasonable” considering that they could not do repairs without going to tender.

“In any event the accused denies that it unlawfully discharged sewage into a stream or that it unlawfully caused water pollution. The channel was damaged and this resulted in sewage flowing into the stream on its own,” read part of their defence outline.

They now wait for Mupeiwa’s ruling on March 13, after applying for discharge at the close of the State’s case. - Tendai Kamhungira

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.