Fungai Lupande, Mash Central Bureau
THE law on littering is being tightened to deter litterbugs and a new Bill being drafted include stiffer penalties and regulation plus a requirement that fast food outlets and those who sell drinks bottles must charge a deposit that will be refunded when the potential litter is returned.
Speaking at the national clean-up campaign at Nzvimbo growth point in Chiweshe, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga said litterbugs who are pursued by the police will pay the expenses plus a fine for littering.
He said the bill is expected to help in keeping the environment clean.
“Littering the environment was a tactic used by our detractors in the 2000s as they brainwashed the populace to litter the environment as a way to topple the Government,” he said. “Some went as far as writing on walls and buildings with charcoal. The same influencers kept their countries and environment clean while laughing at us.
“We are now busy creating this new Bill with stiffer penalties. The new Bill will include a deposit fee for fast food boxes, and for water and other drink bottles which will be paid back upon return of the empty containers.”
Dr Chiwenga said together we have to clean our environment because litter caused diseases that affect mostly children.
He said the expansion of towns has seen an increase in business centres which is good for the economy.
“We urge businesses and the community to continue protecting the environment. Mashonaland Central embraced the clean-up campaign and is leading among other provinces,” he said.
“Communities need to change their perception of waste. Waste recycling is a business that can change livelihoods. Others are moulding bricks using plastics. We have a big project of waste being turned into gas to produce electricity.
“Seek financial assistance from banks so that you can start a waste recycling business. This is how a country is developed by its people and cleaned by its people.”
Tuning to the upcoming elections, Dr Chiwenga urged people to maintain peace, and harmony and show love for one another.
He warned perpetrators of political violence that they will be arrested and prosecuted but warned that people must never take the law into their own hands.
“We are all Zimbabweans despite prodigal sons amongst us but you sit down with them and counsel. This is our country it will never be ruled by Americans and the British. It will only be ruled by Zimbabweans,” he said.
“An outsider is only interested in causing confusion and animosity so that they can steal our wealth in broad daylight. Let there be peace, unity, love, and harmony among us. With this mantra, Zimbabwe will be great and nobody will dare to divide us.”
Dr Chiwenga who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care said the burden of Covid-19 was still present and urged people to get vaccinated and adhere to preventative regulations.
He said the country has over 8 million doses of vaccine in stock.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Senator Monica Mavhunga called upon local authorities and their partners to ensure high waste collection frequency.