Commander 3 Infantry Brigade, Brigadier-General Joe Muzvidziwa, has challenged the media to play an active role in disseminating information on environment.
Speaking to The Herald, Brig-Gen Muzvidziwa said cleanliness and sanity were a major concern in most of Zimbabwe’s cities adding that local authorities and other stakeholders needed to be proactive and maintain the cities clean and free of disorganised vending, which would ultimately be blamed when problems like cholera surfaced.
“We need to continuously educate people on the need to maintain a clean environment. We do not want to go through the chaos that comes with removing vendors from the streets when there are outbreaks yet all this can be avoided by merely obeying city by-laws and being responsible citizens.
“I must admit that Mutare has fared better than most cities in terms of this chaos, but we still need to rein in errant citizens who also take the law into their own hands and make the cities difficult to govern. They need to be educated on what they should be doing to make the cities good places for everyone to stay in,” he said.
Brig-Gen Muzvidziwa said cholera should not be used as the scapegoat for getting vendors off the streets, but everyone should know that following proper vending procedures was important to ward off possible disease outbreaks as well keeping the city clean and crime-free.
He also expressed concern at the rampant panning activities currently happening in the precincts of Mutare and beyond, saying the mining activities needed to be done in a more organised fashion paying close attention to health, safety and security issues that he said could be grossly compromised in the process.
“There is the current gold rush that has seen thousands of people descending on places like Penhalonga, Chimanimani and Rusitu. These miners are not paying attention to environmental issues as they rush to fill their pockets with cash. When the President declared Zimbabwe open for business he did not mean open for chaotic business activities,” he added.
Brig-Gen Muzvidziwa said reclaiming of the rivers damaged during the panning activities was difficult adding that the panning activities had also resulted in Mozambique complaining of rivers silting as a result of the panning activities taking place in Zimbabwe.
Most of the rivers running through Manicaland also go as far as Mozambique, he added.
“Government is working hard to provide mining equipment to artisanal miners so we should be seeing some changes in that sector soon. We really need order and peace in all business activities,” said Brig-Gen Muzvidziwa.