Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Online Reporter
GOVERNMENT is amending the Environmental Management Act to ensure comprehensive protection of the country’s environment in a manner that leads to sustainable development.
In her post Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the amendments will also align the Act with the Constitution.
“Cabinet considered and approved the Principles for the Amendment of the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27). The proposed amendments will align the Act to the Constitution and strengthen the Act by providing for the comprehensive protection of the country’s environment in a manner that ensures sustainable development.
The amendments will also harmonise the Act with the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act as well as regional and international treaties and conventions which Zimbabwe is party to,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the amendment will see the appointment of an Environmental Management Agency’s Director-General and board.
She said it will also see imposition of deterrent penalties for non-compliance with orders issued by EMA officers or inspectors, including civil penalties in addition to the criminal sanctions. It will also compel all businesses operating in an area where there is no existing sewerage system to install an effluent pre-treatment facility.
Under the Act penalties and minimum mandatory sentences will be imposed on repeat offenders for failure to comply with the prohibition of discharging hazardous substances, chemicals and materials or oil into the environment.
“Undertakers of projects whose effects outlive the project lifespan will be required to submit Environmental Decommissioning Plans, which will ensure that the projects sites are rehabilitated to restore or reclaim the project areas, making them suitable for other activities upon decommissioning of the plant,” she said.- @DubeMatutu