Home » General » We Are No Toothless Bulldog – Ema Boss

THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has rejected charges that it is a toothless bulldog, insisting it was doing all in its power to enforce the country’s environmental laws.

Speaking after touring Marange diamonds fields on Sunday, EMA board chairman, Professor Sheunesu Mupepereki said diamond mining companies must continue to adopt best practices for the benefit of society and the environment.

“We are not a toothless bulldog. We act precisely and we should know that we are talking of economic activities and we don’t want to compromise our economic growth,” he said.

Mupepereki said they encouraged mining companies to strengthen their security measures to avoid accidents as well as prevent livestock straying into operational areas.

“We don’t want to be seen stifling the economic development by just closing the companies. We engage and we collect irrefutable evidence before we act,” said Mupepereki.

Mupepereki’s comments come in the wake of an outcry by villagers in Marange that some firms, particularly the Chinese-owned Anjin Investments, were continuously polluting their water by discharging untreated slurry and effluent into the Save River, their main water source.

But Mupepereki said the EMA board was satisfied with the operations of the mining companies.

“There have been some concerns that is why we visited the areas but from what we saw things are going on well.

“There are some aspects where companies should comply but we are happy that they are striving to use international best practices of mining diamonds,” said Mupepereki.

Pressed on whether companies in Chiadzwa were complying with the Environmental Management Act which orders them to have an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Certificate and Environmental Management Plan, Mupepereki was evasive.

He said their trip was not a witch-hunt.

“We don’t have a crisis because there are no reports of cattle falling in traps and we saw children running around while villagers go about their normal business,” he said drawing huge laughter from the house.

Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry parliamentary portfolio committee chairperson, Annastacia Ndlovu, recently criticised the EMA describing the authority as a “toothless bulldog”.

There were also concerns raised by the communities on why EMA approved the resettling of people on riverbeds in Arda-Transau.

“EMA is a toothless bulldog, haina meno ichokwadi. Yakangoita sezvanga zvakaita League of Nations. Inongohukura nekuhukura (EMA is indeed a toothless bulldog. It’s just like what the League of Nation was like. It just barks and barks),” said Ndlovu.

Source : New Zimbabwe