Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Minister of State in Vice President Mohadi’s office, Mr Davis Marapira, has encouraged Government to give officers from the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) arresting powers to apprehend various offenders that break environmental laws. Litter bugs are the most troublesome of the offenders.
Minister Marapira said deterrent fines or custodial sentences along with other environment management programmes Government is rolling out will help improve issues of cleanliness.
He said though EMA was hard at work on the ground, it had become necessary for them to have arresting powers to make environment management effective.
“You will note that one of the ministries which falls under the Vice President’s Office is that of Environment and it is our proposal that the Ministry of Environment through the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) should have more powers to deal with littering,” said Minister Marapira. “In addition, we suggest that they should have arresting powers whereby anyone found littering should not be charged not less than $100 or imprisonment for 30 days.
“We are equally concerned with the high level of littering in our towns and highways. This issue of anti-littering has the support of the highest office in the land.
“Already, President Mnangagwa has set a day of national cleaning up to show how serious the Government is with regards to dealing with the environment and solid waste management.”
Minister Marapira said the minimum fine for littering motorists should be pegged at $500, with an option of two months’ imprisonment.
He said drivers of public service transport should be imprisoned or fined for failure to put bins in their vehicles. Minister Marapira said the fight against pollution was not the sole responsibility of EMA or Government, but it needed a collective approach.
“Zimbabweans should take it upon themselves to collectively maintain a clean and safe environment,” he said.