Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
Government has exempted kapenta fishing in Lake Kariba from the lockdown, but set stringent measures that must be followed to minimise spread of Covid-19.
Among the raft of measures is a strict monitoring and sanitisation in the kapenta value chain, including limiting the number of crew members and decongestion of harbours.
In a letter to Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management director-general Mr Felton Mangwanya, Secretary for Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mr Munesu Munodawafa said Zimparks officials will facilitate resumption of fishing in the lake.
The directive follows representations by players in the fishing industry in Kariba and Binga to the National Taskforce where the Attorney-General advised that fishing was part of the food industry.
Fish from Lake Kariba accounts for about 75 percent of the country’s fish protein and the lockdown had affected livelihoods for the people of Kariba and surrounding areas, who rely on the lake for survival.
By yesterday afternoon, some players were preparing to launch into the lake.
They were later recalled after venturing into the lake for some distance, amid reports there were some loose ends that needed to be tied with the local Covid-19 taskforce.
“The Attorney-General was duly requested to advise the meeting (National Taskforce meeting) by the chair, Honourable Vice President Kembo Mohadi, and he advised that the fishing, being part of the food industry, is indeed exempted from lockdown in terms of the relevant Statutory Instrument,” said Mr Munodawafa.
“May you, therefore, instruct your officers on the ground accordingly.”
Mr Munodawafa said there was need to observe strict precautionary measures to minimise chances of transmission of the coronavirus.