Government partners transport operators on the National Cleanup Day

Norman Muchemwa

GOVERNMENT, through the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, will partner with transport operators this Friday to clean major bus termini and the country’s major highways, a move that will create a clean environment for both transporters and passengers.

The move comes at a time Zimbabweans are increasingly embracing the National Clean-up Day that was launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in December last year.

The day is observed on the first Friday of each month.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr Munesuishe Munodawafa, said that it is imperative to keep a clean environment in bus termini and highways.

“The next National Clean-up Day is November 1, and on this particular one, we ask every Zimbabwean to come and clean-up. However, we are saying let’s put emphasis on the transport sub-sector as we are approaching festive holidays, which come with a lot of litter on the highways,” said Mr Munodawafa.

“We are simply saying let’s start creating a clean environment on our highways and also even on the bus termini. One of the key points that came out of our discussions when I met with various transport operators under the Ministry of Transport was on bus terminus.”

He implored local authorities to partner transport operators in good faith to create a conducive working environment.

“One of the key areas they mentioned is the state of Mbare bus terminus and they just picked Mbare because we were talking of Harare, but there are various termini in other cities as well where toilets are not functioning, where there are no bins. What I found very interesting is that they are saying to the municipalities, allow us to rehabilitate those toilets, allow us to partner with you.

“Maybe after rehabilitating the toilets, they may just want to brand it and there is nothing wrong about that. Yes, they put money and passengers now have ablution facilities to use and they just put their logo, what will that take away from anyone.  The advantage of putting their logo there is that they will maintain that toilet to keep their image.”

The issue of bins, Mr Munodawafa said, was key in their discussions and transport operators are willing to chip in provided there is close co-operation with municipalities.

He added that Government, through the Environmental Management Agency, will from now on adhere to strictness in enforcing laws.

“Transport operators agreed that EMA should enforce the regulations. Related to private vehicles, a message that I want to go out there, is, we have deployed teams that are taking pictures of cars that are throwing litter through windows.

“We are working through the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) to trace these cars. We actually have a number of cases that have happened in Harare, where we have traced those people and the highest last fine so far is $600. We will enforce this from now on moving forward.

“Anybody who throws out litter, enforcement will be massive, we are not going to be reckless, but we will do everything we can to maintain this environment clean,” he said.

Government, he said, will enforce fines from Level 3, that is $100, to Level 14 that is mainly to do with dumping and that attracts a fine of $30 000.

EMA is empowered through Section 83 of the EMA Act to arrest littering and dumping offenders.