Harare puts sand poachers on notice

Zimbabwe

Munashe Mukahlera

Authorities in Harare have put on notice sand poachers at Eyecourt, an area on the outskirts of the city.

According to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), over 400 hectares of land has been degraded due to sand poaching. While authorities say operations at Eyecourt are illegal, sand poachers who spoke to ZTN said their operations are above board and that they are paying fees at council offices while other council officials are accepting bribes.

Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti said his office will investigate the claims, adding that council officials receiving payment from sand poachers will be sanctioned.

“I know there is a lot of corruption happening within the city of Harare. There are some people who are writing receipts for the sand barons, just so that they can produce some form of documentation.

“All those documents they are wasting their money on are null and void. We will not stop until we get to the bottom of who is involved. We know there are sand barons and kingpins convening to try and counter Government actions,” he said.

He emphasized that operations should be done in adherence to guidelines set by EMA, to ensure preservation of the environment and safety of communities.