WATER Resources Development and Management minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo yesterday attacked politicians who encourage people to plant crops along rivers and use cyanide in a bid to secure votes.
Addressing the ongoing Zimbabwe Water Infrastructure summit in Bulawayo, Nkomo said environmental degradation was a source of concern for the government.
“We have a problem with politicians who want to garner votes during election periods by telling people to practice stream-bank cultivation and encouraging gold panners to use cyanide,” he said.
“I say to politicians, please back off.”
Nkomo was responding to questions on the extent of water pollution in the country.
“Bulawayo City Council would tell residents not to practice stream-bank cultivation, but the problem lies with politicians who are seeking votes.
“Stream-bank cultivation contributes to water pollution.”
Over the years, the Bulawayo council has slashed maize grown by residents in open spaces in a move that has attracted criticism from politicians.
Zanu PF is pushing for the relaxation of laws that criminalise gold panning where the use of cyanide is common.