The Herald (Harare)

16 February 2013

Zimbabwe: First Lady Speaks Against Environmental Crimes

FIRST Lady Amai Grace Mugabe has urged the judiciary to impose stiff penalties against people who commit environmental crimes.

Addressing delegates attending the maiden Green Valentine's dinner organised by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management in Harare last night, Amai Mugabe said the police should also arrest motorists who have a tendancy of throwing litter through the windows.

"The judiciary should impose stiffer penalties on people who commit environmental crimes," she said.

Amai Mugabe said it was everyone's responsibility to maintain the country's natural landscape.

She said farmers should practice conservation agriculture while mining companies should do their best to reduce land degradation.

Amai Mugabe proposed to Environment and Natural Resources Minister Francis Nhema that Zimbabwe embarks on campaigns to keep the environment clean.

She urged local authorities to constantly collect refuse to prevent outbreaks of certain diseases.

"There is no other way we can keep the environment clean. If we fail to do such campaigns, that may result in outbreaks of all sorts of diseases and some that we thought we have eradicated.

"Local authorities should collect refuse regularly," said Amai Mugabe.

She said President Mugabe was a strong proponent of good environment and in his quest to keep the environment clean had launched the Tree Planting Day.

Amai Mugabe said the President also launched the clean cities programme.

She said human beings relied on environment for survival.

"It is important to maintain our environment. Forestry provides us with timber, shelter and medicines.

"BeautIful landscapes such as the Victoria Falls and Nyanga provides attractiveness to photo safaris and crop production rely on good soils," she said.

Amai Mugabe said it was important to maintain natural landscapes for the benefit of future generations.

She however, said the environment was losing its natural stature due to land degradation.

"Mother earth is losing her beauty due to degradation. We should give much to our environment because it also do much to our survival," said Amai Mugabe.

Amai Mugabe said Valentine's Day was a day to show love and affection to loved ones and the Green Valentine was designed to show love to the environment.

She said the Green Valentine should be celebrated every year as a way of promoting beautification of the environment.

The Green Valentine dinner was attended by several senior Government officials and heads of parastatals.

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