Locadia Mavhudzi Midlands Correspondent
The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has said police roadblock points along major highways are becoming litter hotspots, a situation that reflects badly on police attitude towards environmental crimes. Speaking during a ZRP/EMA national stakeholder capacity building workshop in Kwekwe, EMA ecosystems protection and solid waste manager Mr Christopher Mushava urged police officers to consider environmental crimes seriously and arrest all people who throw litter at undesignated points.
“It is disheartening to note that some police officers do throw litter at roadblock points or let perpetrators of littering go scot free,” he said. “It is your duty as law enforcement agencies to spearhead environmental stewardship.” The ZRP/EMA national stakeholder capacity building workshop is being attended by senior police officers drawn from across the country.
It covers topics such as solid waste management, environmental fees and licensing, water and effluent, as well as constitutional provisions of environmental rights. Mr Mushava said environmental law was one of the areas of the administration of justice with which the law enforcement agencies, including the judiciary, were least equipped to handle, whether by way of concept, procedures, background information or access to relevant materials.
He said while judges were critical in arbitration and conflict resolution, they could not achieve the mandate by themselves. “Their knowledge of the facts rests on the evidence before them, and their understanding is informed by the issues and arguments presented,” said Mr Mushava. “Indeed, even a well informed and effective judiciary amounts to relatively little if cases are not brought forward to the courts. “Law enforcement agencies such as ZRP, are, therefore, one of the critical building blocks towards a clean, safe and healthy environment as provided by section 73 of the Constitution.”