Bulawayo councillors have challenged the local authority to take advantage of the 21-day lockdown to improve refuse collection in the city and avert a health crisis.
According to the lockdown order proclaimed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last Friday, citizens are supposed to stay at home as a precautionary measure against the spread of Coronavirus.
However, some suburbs in the city have gone for weeks without their refuse collected.
Speaking during a full council meeting, Wednesday, councillors said residents were not happy with poor service delivery.
Ward 4 Councillor Silas Chigora said he was hoping refuse collection would have improved especially during the lockdown period considering that resources would be more available since a few departments are working in local authority.
“We thought during this coronavirus period, refuse collection would improve but if they are failing to collect now when they have access to fuel, vehicles and everything, then we will totally fail when other departments resume their work duties after lockdown,” said Cllr Chigora.
He said refuse collectors ought to be operating during the lockdown period but they have not done so.
“I thought this period they were going to be effective but we have not seen them in our suburbs collecting refuse. They are not coming,” said Cllr Chigora.
Ward 9 Councillor Donaldson Mabuto noted that refuse has not been collected in his ward for the past four weeks.
“Residents are not happy about refuse collection. There are heaps of rubbish which haven’t been collected for the past four weeks,” said Cllr Mabuto.
He claimed that refuse collectors are unable to relate with the public in a professional manner.
“The guys who move around collecting refuse do not know how to deal with the public. They cannot differentiate between talking to an adult and a young person,” said Cllr Mabuto.
He added that refuse collectors should be trained on how to act professionally.
Cllr Mabuto also said residents complain about the time refuse collectors come to collect garbage which in most cases it will be in the early hours of the morning.
“Some of the residents send pictures to us councillors showing uncollected garbage while collectors would have already passed early in the morning,” said Cllr Mabuto.
“May the committee provide a database of the registration numbers for the refuse trucks and the drivers so that we will be able to know who they are and gauge their performance.”