By Innocent Ruwende
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has been keeping 10 refuse compactors bought by Harare City Council at a bonded warehouse for over a month after failing to clear the trucks which are not meant to pay duty.
Under a $30 million loan facility accessed from local banks, Harare bought 30 refuse compactors from one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturing companies, FAW Group Corporation, for $3,1 million and the first nine trucks were delivered last year.
The project, which is meant to improve service delivery, was granted national status by Government.
Projects awarded national status are given preferential treatment, including exemptions from paying import duty and other taxes.
Sources at the revenue authority, however, yesterday said Zimra had been facing challenges with its system hence it had failed to process the rebate in time.
Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa yesterday said his ministry was concerned that such equipment which was critical in combating the spread of water-borne diseases was being kept at a bonded warehouse.
“We are very concerned about the situation. Uncollected refuse collection, could see the recurrence of diseases such as cholera compromising the health of our people,” he said.
“We urge Zimra and City of Harare to solve this impasse with the urgency it requires because refuse compactors are critical in fighting water borne diseases.”
Harare City Council Environment Management Committee chairperson Councillor Herbert Gomba said the city was worried that Zimra was compromising the health of Harare residents.
“It is very unfortunate that despite our capital city council making efforts to bring services to the people under difficult situations, the Zimra leadership is making concerted efforts to stifle those noble efforts,” he said.
“We have been made to think that Zimra will understand that cholera and typhoid diseases require collective efforts from all stakeholders including Zimra itself. I am failing to understand how they can keep council equipment for all these weeks at the expense of the health of our people,” he said.
He implored Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa to intervene in order to ensure the trucks are released for the betterment of society.
Minister Chinamasa and his deputy Cde Terrence Mukupe could not be reached yesterday but Secretary for Finance Mr William Manungo said he was following up the matter and would respond.
He had not done so by time of going to print.
Under the facility ,the city also acquired 10 skip trucks, 10 tipper trucks, three graders, one jet patcher, 25 utility trucks which are at various stages of delivery. The Herald