Vaya is looking to do some innovative things that’s for sure. In a move that has left many questioning what this business is really about they have stepped into waste management. I’ve written before how waste management is one of the biggest opportunities for investment in Zimbabwe. However, comments and questions have arisen over their spread across ride-hailing, emergency services, tractors and now this.

Much like Econet founder Strive Masiyiwa the company has shown that it loves a problem and loves to dive into it. Waste management is a huge problem for Harare residents and has been for the last 15-20 years. They have partnered with private companies already engaged in the service and are providing 50 trucks towards this business.

Not that simple

It’s a two-week free trial and after the two week period, you will have to place an order through the app. They will set up a timetable for picks ups in specific areas. From this point on you will pay for them to collect your trash. Perhaps there’s a bit of a missed opportunity here but the issue of payments made to or at least charges raised by local authorities for refuse collection that also needs to be looked at. Waste management is, of course, a service that certainly needs to be paid for.

While many will have questions over the number of ideas that Vaya have thrown themselves into, it’s important to remember that business is a tricky endeavour. 3M, a world leader in stationery started their journey as a mining and minerals company; 3M stands for Minnesota Mining and Minerals. While Vaya may have started with ride-hailing it may not be the thrust or focus for them going forward. In a country where the fuel gets cheaper in US dollar terms by the day due to rate movements and the government commissioned new buses for public transport ZUPCO adding to the already available Commuter Omnibus network you quickly get a feel for why Vaya needs to explore alternatives while they still can.

The Ultimate success of this plan will be determined by how well they navigate the council issue. The City Council bills people monthly for refuse collection and that is a legally binding debt. While people are certainly in need of waste management services and private companies are already engaged, the scale will determine the success of the business. Perhaps the way will be paved for a monthly subscription, this would best mirror the known system (which hasn’t worked for a while) with weekly collection in specified areas on specified days.