Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, online journalist
THE GOVERNMENT amends the Environmental Management Law to ensure comprehensive protection of the country’s environment in a way that leads to sustainable development.
In her post Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Advertising and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the amendments would also bring the law into line with the Constitution.
“The Cabinet has reviewed and approved the Principles for the Amendment of the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27). The proposed changes will align the law with the Constitution and strengthen the law by ensuring full protection of the country’s environment in a way that ensures sustainable development.
The amendments will also harmonize the law with the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act as well as regional and international treaties and conventions to which Zimbabwe is a party, ”she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the amendment will see the appointment of a general manager and a board of directors of an environmental management agency.
She said this will also see the imposition of dissuasive penalties for failure to comply with orders issued by EMA officers or inspectors, including civil penalties in addition to criminal penalties. It will also require all companies operating in an area where there is no existing sewage system to install an effluent pre-treatment plant.
Under the Act, mandatory minimum penalties and penalties will be imposed on repeat offenders for failing to comply with the ban on discharging hazardous substances, chemicals and materials or hydrocarbons into the environment.
“Contractors of projects whose effects exceed the life of the project will be required to submit environmental decommissioning plans, which will ensure that project sites are rehabilitated to restore or reclaim project areas, making them suitable for other activities during the decommissioning of the plant, ”she said. said.- @DubeMatutu