The Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon Prisca Mupfumira (Sen) appointed a new Environment Management Board (EMB) on May 13, 2019, following the expiry of the term of office of the previous Board. The appointment of the Board by the Minister is provided for in section 11 of the Environmental Management Act (CAP 20:27) of 2002. The Board gives strategic direction that guide the operations of the Environmental Management Agency.
Functions of the Board
The Board has various functions as outlined in the Environmental Management Act (CAP 20:27) that include among others the following:
Hearings by the Board: in terms of Section 27 of the Environmental Management Act (CAP 20:27) the Board has powers to hold hearings on matters of environmental violations by individuals, corporates and local authorities.
In the past, local authorities such as: Harare City, Chitungwiza Municipality, Norton Town Council, Chegutu Municipality and Chinhoyi Municipality were brought before the Board on allegations of allocating stands in wetlands, non-collection of refuse and illegal discharge of untreated effluent such as raw sewage into the environment.
Such Board hearings resulted in enhanced commitment to sound environmental management and improved compliance with environmental laws by these local authorities. The Environment Management Board thus has a unique function which is different from most boards and hence their appointment is critical for the sustainable utilisation of natural resources and the protection of the environment. Whenever the Board is holding a hearing, the interested and affected communities are free to attend and be part of the proceedings.
Powers of the Board to summon witnesses and take evidence at hearings: For the purposes of any hearing, the Board has the same powers as a magistrate’s court to
Summon witnesses, to cause the oath to be administered to them, to examine them and to call for the production of documents.
A subpoena for the attendance of a witness or for the production of any book, document or record before the Board shall be signed and issued by the Chairman of the Board, and shall be served in the same way as a subpoena for the attendance of a witness at a criminal trial in a magistrates court. Any person subpoenaed to give evidence or to produce any book, document or record or giving evidence before the Board shall be entitled to the same privileges and immunities as if he were subpoenaed to attend or were giving evidence at a criminal trial in a magistrates court.
The names of the new Board Members are as follows;
Ambassador Florence Z. Chideya – Board chairperson
Mr Christopher Chitindi – vice chairperson
Mr Nickiel Mushangwe
Ms Moline Mayahle
Mr Abraham Z. Matiza
Mr Irvine D. Kunene
Mr Leon Muwoni
Mrs Shiela Sidambe
Mrs Juliet Chiketa
Mr Tinofara Hove
The Board is a critical component for EMA in upholding good corporate governance and ensuring sustainable development. We congratulate the Chairperson and all members of the Board on this noble appointment and welcome them to the EMA family. Together with all our stakeholders we will achieve a clean, safe and healthy environment.