‘Dance to the music, or else . . .’ Minister Daniel Garwe

Stephen Mpofu

THE headline above is this communicologist’s own interpretation of Local Government and Public Works Minister Cde Daniel Garwe’s ultimatum to litter bugs in Harare as a clean-up operation in the capital truly gets underway.

The litterers in Zimbabwe’s seat of Government and those elsewhere in the country probably never ever imagined the advent of the severity of what the Minister threatened them with but now, after hearing it a few days ago from a local radio station they can visualise, like snuff at the nose, the place of offenders incarceration, jail.

The minister’s “stop-it or else” warning would probably have driven his message much closer to home had he mentioned — as did a nursing sister at Dr Misheck Ruwende surgery in Harare — that health hazards from littering include typhoid and cholera which hit some urban centres in our country.

He, however, warned those turning the streets of Harare into litter bins that if caught they risk imprisonment.
He cited Singapore, China and Russia as countries where anyone littering a street with as little as a sweet paper peel faced a jail sentence.

The minister did not mention litterers in Singapore’s capital, Singapore city, China’s Beijing or Russia’s Moscow but spoke collectively about how those countries dealt with litterers.

It follows therefore that even though Minister Garwe spoke specifically about littering in our capital city his warning affected litterbugs in all urban centres in our country and so offenders there need to take heed or else they will find themselves behind bars.

The Bible says that cleanliness is next to Godliness, meaning that those whose acts are clean will avoid incarceration in hell in the same way that non-litterers will not be incarcerated in prison here on earth.

But let this discourse blatantly and truly state that littering does start in the home front with husbands returning home inebriated from a beer drink or from a day’s hard work at places of employment, discarding and throwing their clothing including shoes on the floor for their spouses to collect and put those articles where they should belong, or for visitors to write their names on dinner tables neglected by their wives and covered with dust not to mention cooking utensils in the kitchen dressed in the same filth with children littering courtyards with objects germane to the breeding and spreading of typhoid and cholera.

Minister Garwe’s message is clear and it therefore behoves on every Zimbabwean across our beloved country to embrace it as part of our healthy lifestyles for survival.

Therefore let us all Zimbabweans view littering as something taboo.

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