Law to force vendors, political parties into clean up

Review & Mail Writer

Cabinet has proposed a new law that will force vendors and political parties to take part in national clean up exercises.

The new law, proposed by Environment Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu, also seeks to punish citizens who litter while it will make the national clean up exercise, introduced by President Mnangagwa five years ago, mandatory for Government bodies.

Authorities are also planning for long term measures to contain waste and develop waste management business.

This emerged from Cabinet deliberations on Wednesday.

Ndovu proposed a new statutory instrument to make the National Clean Up Programme compulsory for Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Local Authorities, the business sector, vendors, retailers and manufacturers.

Local authorities will be compelled to localise the SI by promulgation of the relevant by-laws and that funds collected by local authorities from residents for waste management be ring-fenced in-order to ensure that the authorities do not divert the funds to other uses.

The Environmental Management Authority will be tasked with supervising the usage of the funds.

It was proposed that “deterrent fines for public littering will be introduced and enforced, and repeat offenders charged with no option of a fine but given mandatory community service.”

Road and rail authorities will be compelled to ensure that road and rail servitudes are litter-free, and to undertake regular clean ups along the servitudes and at lay-bys and public transport vehicles that dump waste along roads shall be fined up to Level 8 with the responsible transport operator or owner also being liable.

“All Political Parties should be compelled to mobilise their constituents to remove their campaign materials from the environment and ensure that it is properly disposed of with the assistance of local authorities,” Cabinet said in the post-Cabinet briefing.

“In the medium-term, more efficient usage and disposal of plastic carrier bags and PET containers will be promoted in order to address the challenge of plastic waste,” it said.

“Long-term measures include increased waste recycling business and introduction of levies to deter the importation of materials such as plastics and disposable nappies whose management of post-consumer use is problematic.

” The education curriculum will also have deliberate learning programmes on cleanliness and management of waste from the lowest levels going up.”

Zimbabwe is grappling with waste management problems, especially in urban areas with Government and the opposition that controls the majority of towns and cities trading accusations on who is responsible for the situation.

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