Dexter Nduna blames, urges ban on driver smoking for ‘causing veld fires’

HARARE – Chegutu West legislator Dexter Nduna has called for a ban on smoking while driving as he blamed motorists for causing veld fires through dumping cigarette stubs via vehicle windows.

The Zanu PF lawmaker was speaking in parliament this past week during the ministers’ question time.

Nduna was following up on Simba Mudarikwa’s question to Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi on what government had in place to curb the incidence of veld fires and also assist victims who would have lost valuable property through the fires.

Responding to Mudarikwa, Ziyambi said the country had in its statutes, laws that made it illegal for people to start veld fires.

He added, “The challenge is that the perpetrators of these veld fires cannot be identified. Those fires are just witnessed.

“It is an issue that was discussed yesterday as a result of the tragedy that happened in Esigodini where 10 lives were lost as they were trying to put out the fire.

“The tragedy was declared a national disaster by His Excellency the President. The victims are being assisted.

“What is of paramount importance is not what the government is doing in terms of veld fires but government cannot observe what is happening in all our areas.

“It requires all of us to look into the issue and own it as individuals so that our land, livestock and fields are not destroyed.”

On his part, Nduna fingered vehicle drivers of causing veld fires.

“Veld fires are caused by those that smoke in their motor vehicles and throw away cigarette stubs. Can there be a law that is enacted to that effect so that the veld fires will not be caused by cigarette smokers? I also urge the Minister of Home Affairs that these smokers be ticketed when they get to roadblocks.”

In his response, Ziyambi said there was already in existence, a law which prohibited public smoking.

“Honourable Nduna is saying that the people that are responsible for causing veld fires are those who smoke from their vehicles and there should be a law that bars people from smoking whilst they are in their motor vehicles.

“There is a law that people should not be smoking in public. We go back to what I earlier on mentioned that the issue is all about awareness. There are laws that are in place that cover everything that he is talking about,” Ziyambi said.

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