Ema may drop sewer charges against council


THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is contemplating withdrawing charges of allegedly discharging raw sewer into Umguza River’s tributaries rivers levelled against the Bulawayo City Council before plea.


EMA’s Kwanele Ndiweni reported council for allegedly discharging raw sewer into the rivers in 2010 after one of sewer pipes burst in Kingsdale causing water pollution.

The case should have been heard by Bulawayo magistrate Charity Maphosa last week, but prosecutor Kudakwashe Jaravaza said it did not take off as there were indications the complainant was contemplating withdrawing the case.

“That case did not go to court (as) it appears the complainant wants to withdraw the case,” he said.

State papers say that on September 3 2010, EMA’s Jasiel Starfod Mapako and two colleagues went to inspect pipes at the Umguza River in Kingsdale after being tipped off that council was discharging raw sewer into the river.

The three discovered that a broken sewer pipe was rersponsible for the raw sewer being discharged into the river and filed a report at the Queens Park Police Station and a case docket was opened.

The case has, however, failed to take off since then.

Council indicated that it inspects sewer pipes and attends to any repairs immediately if finances permit.

“Council was alerted to this damaged pipe on September 3 2010 and immediately started attending to the repairs in the long term.

“This pipeline is part of the rehabilitation projects that council will undertake through (the) Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe funding,” council said.

“A tender for the rehabilitation of the entire sewer pipeline was flighted in the Chronicle of September 15 2010.

“It is thus surprising and not in accordance with the rules of natural justice that the council is being prosecuted when it attended to the problem as soon as its attention to the problem was drawn to it.

“The initial discharge was clearly unintentional; it was accidental.”