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ZELA using the law to protect and conserve the environment

Case Brief

Younger Ncube vs City of Harare HC 2780/2020

In this case ZELA supported Mr Younger on behalf of his son(Mqondisi Ncube) to file a case against City of Harare pertaining to Golden Quarry dumpsite. On or about the 5th of October 2019 Mqondisi Ncube was passing through Golden Quarry dumpsite as an access route from Westlea to National Sport stadium. Mqondisi fell into a spent bleaching earth mainly found from cooking oil producing industries as a waste byproduct and it was burning below the visible level of the heap. He sustained injuries into both legs, feet and forearms. Upon getting instructions from the father, ZELA sought an opinion from EMA to hear water is happening.  EMA indicated that the quarry in question is owned and operated by City of Harare. It further indicated that City of Harare was operating the dumpsite without a hazardous waste licence and it failed to put in place measures to protect the public from the hazardous dumpsite.

The relief that is being sought by ZELA in this case is

  • City of Harare to cease to operate the dumpsite without a hazardous waste licence as required by the law.
  • City of Harare to be ordered to put precautionary measures to protect the public against hazardous waste at the dumpsite.
  • A declaration that the conduct that was exhibited by City of Harare by operating the hazardous waste dumpsite and failure to put in place precautionary measures violates section 73 of the Constitution as well as section section 81.

City of Harare through its lawyers opposed this matter.The crux of its opposition is to say that they had put precautionary measures but the property was vandalized.

It is paramount to note that ZELA through this case seeks to deal with the dumpsite challenges in cities in Zimbabwe which pose as a danger to the public and the environment at large. Specifically, ZELA seeks to promote proper waste management practices whose problems are a ticking time bomb to the society. Most importantly, ZELA intends to promote respect for children`s rights that is provided for in terms of section 81 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

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