$100 fines for litterbugs: Muchinguri

Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri

ENVIRONMENT, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri has warned litter bugs, particularly those that drink a popular opaque beer referred to as “scud” and wantonly discard the empty containers that they face fines of up to $100.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

“Let me now caution those who drink and have a habit of throwing away their scuds, we will be soon charging you $100 fine for that offence and do not be caught off-guard,” Muchinguri told stakeholders in Dete on Wednesday.

“My ministry has taken a lead in declaring zero tolerance stance against all forms of waste.

“All retailers should account for the waste they generate from imported products.

“They should declare how much they are importing and what is being done to manage the waste.”

She called for more awareness campaigns on veld fires to be carried out in Matabeleland North, amid reports that the province has already lost 235 230,37 hectares of vegetation to veld fires this year.

Muchinguri said veld fires were destroying the region’s vast economic resources, hence, the need for more education campaigns and hefty fines for offenders.

“Out of the 10 provinces, Matabeleland North is second to Mashonaland West in terms of total area burnt to date, with an alarming 235 230,37 hectares of land lost due to veld fires to date, with Hwange and Umguza being the most affected and this is unacceptable,” she said.

“This region is well-known for cattle ranching, wildlife, forestry and tourism and if the scourge of veld fires continues to ravage the province unattended, then we will only have ourselves to blame for the loss of economic riches.

“We all know the culprits and perpetrators of veld fires and it is high time they face the wrath of the law.

“It is also my desire that our traditional leadership will use the institutional powers to educate communities on sustainable traditional ways of managing these fires while you ensure that your traditional courts bring offenders to book.”

Officials from the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) cited poachers as contributing to veld fires, forcing wildlife such as elephants to migrate to neighbouring countries like Botswana in search of safe pastures.