‘Police councils to protect farmers’

Source: ‘Police councils to protect farmers’ | The Herald

‘Police councils to protect farmers’
Minister Moyo

Conrad MupesaMash West Bureau

ENVIRONMENTAL Management Agency (EMA) should strictly police rural district councils’ environment control approaches to safeguard farmers’ properties, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has said. 

His clarion call came at the background that some local councils were collecting tax and development levies from farmers but failing to protect their environs. Said Minister Moyo: “You should be asking councils as they are the ones collecting tax or development levies from farmers on which strategies they are employing to protect them, their livestock and other property. 

He said this during the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction commemorations in Chinhoyi. 

Minister Moyo recalled the way councils in the imperialist led government employed to ensure those farmers’ properties and farms were protected. 

“If you go back to the imperialist rural district councils, number one tax went to road maintenance, whose double purpose was to provide passage and work as fireguards. “There are fireguards that the councils should put in the districts but above all, roads were used as fireguards for properties and farms. “Councils also provided earthmoving equipment to farmers who had their own diesel to maintain roads and reduce the likelihood of veld fires,” he added. The province’s veld fire cases are ranked first in the province with Makonde, Zvimba and Hurungwe districts being the worst hit amid concerns that apart from various drivers, unavailability of stringent measures by councils to combat ever rising cases including setting up of fireguards. EMA’s provincial spokesperson, Mr Munyaradzi Nhariswa told Minister Moyo that the institution would continue to enforce policing of council day-to-day activities that impact on the environment.