Environment polluters to be prosecuted

The Chronicle

Chronicle Reporters
DEFENCE and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has reminded Zimbabweans that pollution of the environment remains a criminal offence and those found on the wrong side of the law will be prosecuted without any fear or favour.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri encouraged Zimbabweans to report to law enforcement agencies as well as the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) anyone who is seen throwing litter at undesignated areas.

In her speech delivered on her behalf by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Evelyn Ndlovu at a clean-up campaign at the Tsholotsho Business Centre, Matabeleland North Province yesterday, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said plastic pollution has become a menace in Zimbabwe with adverse effects on the environment, agriculture, livestock and the economy hence the need to take stern measures against those found derailing efforts to protect the environment.

The National Clean-up Campaign is held on the first Friday of every month countrywide.

“I want to urge all local authorities and Tsholotsho Rural District Council in particular to strive to have appropriate, well managed, fenced waste deposit sites. I have been informed that Tsholotsho RDC has since identified land for the landfill in a bid to enhance sustainable waste management.

I implore you to make frantic efforts to comply with the standards set by Government with the establishment of such facilities. To the law enforcement agencies, it is a prerequisite in the fight against poor waste management and on that note, I encourage everyone to play a part, report to law enforcement agencies anyone found throwing litter through windows, burning waste on sites, dumping and littering. The police force will be on guard against those doing that,” said Minister Muchinguri Kashiri.

She said the clean-up programme seeks to fulfil Zimbabweans’ rights to a clean, safe and healthy environment adding that an environment that is not harmful to health was provided for under Section 73 of the constitution and Section 4 of the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20.27).

Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said protection of the environment remains a key policy thrust for the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa.

“Zero tolerance to litter, containment of pollution, sound legislation, adoption of best waste management practices remain critical to us all. Over and above, providing a healthy and more pleasant environment create a good impression on prospective investors within our growth points and rural service centres. I therefore call upon stakeholders, operating within this province to embrace innovative strategies to attain our desired goal of a clean and safe environment,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

Meanwhile, in Bulawayo the clean-up campaign held at Parklands Shopping Complex brought to the fore the problem of corporate dumping.

It was observed that at the backyard of the shopping complex there is a lot of dumping that is taking place and some companies on site were fingered as being responsible for the vice.

Addressing organisations that had attended the provincial clean-up, Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni said the country needs to develop an anti-littering culture.

Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni

“We need to develop a new culture as far as cleaning our environment is concerned. I have been to Rwanda, people in Rwanda do not practice littering. They do throw away litter, banana peels, they are just smart and they have anti-littering clubs that clean their environment everyday so litter to them is a taboo.

We have a vision as Zimbabwe to have a clean environment. Clean environment also speaks to running away from evil things. So, we want to thank you for participating in this clean-up campaign,” said Dr Nyoni.

Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Bulawayo provincial manager Mrs Sithembisiwe Ndlovu said the city has managed to decentralise the provincial clean-up programme.

She said 10 sites were identified for the provincial clean-up programme.

“The clean-up is not about us gathering in one place but in each area, people should be able to identify places which are dirty and clean their surroundings. We don’t need to have one clean-up in an area in a month but you can even have 10 in one suburb and that will assist to clean a wider area. That is why we are saying that whether you are a business, people come together and clean your surroundings. If you are in ward 5, Matsheumhlope or Selbourne Park come together and identify your areas that are dirty and clean,” said Mrs Ndlovu.

She said the clean-up campaign can succeed if people are self-oriented to take up the programme.

In Matabeleland South the main clean-up exercise was conducted at Ultra Business Centre in Ward 9 in Gwanda.

Speaking on behalf of the Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Ministry of Industry and Commerce Matabeleland South provincial deputy director, Mr Richmond Ncube urged people to ensure that their surroundings remain clean. He said a clean environment is key in attracting investors.

“As the people of Matabeleland South Province and Gwanda in particular, it’s important for us to keep our surroundings clean. A clean town and province attract investors which boosts economic activities. Investors tend to disregard filthy towns as they are a sign of being disorganised and unproductive. Therefore, if we want to see our towns grow through investment, we have to take good care of our surroundings” he said.

In the Midlands province, the national campaign was held at Mvuri Bus Terminus in Shurugwi town where residents, companies and officials from Government departments took time to clean the terminus.

The Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Larry Mavima said it is the duty of all Zimbabweans to ensure that the environment is kept litter free at all times.

Minister Larry Mavima

In a speech read on his behalf by the director of economic development in his office Mr Caution Mutisi, Minister Mavima said he is deeply concerned by the level of illegal dumping in residential areas.

“Residents have developed a culture of dumping waste in undesignated areas which is against the objectives of Vision 2030. I therefore challenge local authorities to be active in the enforcement of by-laws that relate to solid waste management. By-laws should also be updated so as to address the current problems.

In addition, litter bugs should also be apprehended and prosecuted as they are derailing the Government’s efforts of promoting sustainable waste management in both rural and urban areas. In addition, our local authorities should find strategic partners who will work with them in promoting sustainable waste management through waste to energy projects,” he said.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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