Nine illegal brick moulders operating along Hopely-Chitungwiza Road were arrested in a joint operation by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the police.
The brick moulders were using an open space just a few kilometres from Mbudzi roundabout and had dug pits a few metres from the main road.
The same illegal brick-making activities can be found in Mount Hampden and Epworth.
EMA’s provincial environmental manager for Harare Metropolitan Province Mr Robson Mavondo said: “The nine illegal brick moulders have been fined $1 200 each. It was observed that there are eight ovens and 15 illegal brick moulders on site.
“There are open pits on the site where they are taking their clay for moulding the bricks. The pits are a hazard to the people who live close by.”
“Illegal brick moulders have caused massive land degradation in and around Harare.
“They allocate themselves pieces of land to extract clay for brick moulding.
“This has resulted in several open pits being opened up. There is no rehabilitation that takes place.
“As a result the open pits are abandoned as the brick moulders move from one site to the next to get the clay. As an agency, we do not permit haphazard extraction of clay,” said Mr Mavondo.
He urged anyone intending to mould bricks to seek permission from relevant authorities.
Mr Mavondo said the agency will continue to monitor the area to ensure that the illegal brick moulders do not resume operations.