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Parly to summon Minister over wetlands invasions

By Tendai Guvamombe

Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Portfolio Committee chairperson Consilia Chinanzvavana says her committee will soon exercise its legislative powers in an effort to protect wetlands from further invasions.

Most wetlands mainly in Harare and Chitungwiza have been invaded by property developers and land barons who have gone to parcel them to unsuspecting home-seekers.

However, this has been pinpointed as one of the reasons for water challenges in Harare and Chitungwiza as it affects water quality and availability.

Addressing journalists on the sidelines of a tour of various wetlands in Harare which was organised jointly with Harare Wetlands Trust and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Chinanzvavana said there is a need to urgently address the issue.

“When we see places without permits and CIAs we would like to know who gave them the permission to carry out development so our next step is to call the minister before the committee for us to have oversight of what happened,” she said.

Southerton legislator Peter Moyo who was part of the touring crew echoed similar sentiments saying there is a need to craft legislation on protection of wetlands to avoid corrupt cases within the government.

“Developments in places such as Kambuzuma and Longchen are actually a disaster where the government would override local authorities so we want to put legislation which is clear and straight forward to protect our wetlands,” he said.

Among the toured places include Monavale Vlei, University of Zimbabwe, Borrowdale, Glenlorne and Eastlea Suburbs.

Harare Wetlands Trust (HWT) programs manager Selestino Chari expressed optimism at the way Parliamentarians are interrogating invasion of wetlands.

“ The tour was an eye opener for legislators to see the real situation on the ground we now expect the authorities to make a motion to effect a stop on all developments done on wetlands also we are expecting a Parliamentary report and conclusions of the breakfast meeting,” he said.

Research has shown that water levels at Lake Chivero have dwindled to 17metres and further invasion of wetlands will dry up all its streams which originate from swampy areas.


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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He writes for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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