Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
Goverment plans to import bicycles from China for use by volunteer city cleaners in Mutare to ease the burden of refuse collection on the cash-strapped council, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Cde Mandi Chimene has said. Speaking at a clean-up campaign in Chikanga last week, Cde Chimene said she would be travelling to China next week and would bring the bikes.
“In China, you see young women on bikes going into the street to clean and earn an income. I want the first case of such city cleaning to be in Mutare, so I will be going to China to buy those bikes in the coming two weeks,” she said.
She said she would approach the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for a clearance letter for the bicycles to be exempted from paying duty.
“But we need to bring in those bicycles without duty. We cannot pay duty when we are doing things for the community. We should bring them in without paying duty so that we help the communities.”
Cde Chimene, however, did not disclose the number of bikes she intended to bring into the country. She said the initiative was targeting mostly youths and women in Mutare. Cde Chimene said she would also lobby Government to introduce a waste collection levy, which would go towards paying the city cleaners.
“We are already paying the Aids Levy so it should not be a problem for us to pay a waste collection levy, which would go towards making sure our environment is clean,” she said.
EMA has also advocated for volunteer refuse collectors in Mutare to come forward and help the city council, which has been struggling to consistently collect rubbish in most suburbs.