By Samantha Chigogo
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri on Monday appointed board members to four parastatals and challenged them to redouble their efforts to meet targets spelt out in the Zim-Asset economic blueprint.
The seven-member Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority board will be chaired by Mr Tichafa Mundangepfupfu, who will be deputised by Mrs Idah Mupamhanga.
Other board members are Messrs Wilson Mutinhima, Neville Mutsvangwa, Cephas Mudenda, Tanyaradzwa Mundonga and Edison Chidziya.
The 10-member Environmental Management Agency board is chaired by Ambassador Zenzo Nsimbi, with Ms Sophia Nyamudeza coming in as vice chair.
Members of the board include Mr Andrew Mlalazi, Mr Felix Moyo, Mr Nickel Mushangwe, Mr Howard Mazaiwana, Ms Barbra Rwodzi, Mr Nelson Chanza, Mr Irvin Kunene and Ms Dorothy Chasi.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri also filled some gaps that existed in some parastatals, with Ms Rose Mukogo being appointed chairperson of the Forestry Commission and Dr Michael Tumbare as the chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa).
Others appointed to the Zinwa board were Messrs Robson Nyathi and Allen Sibanda.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the new Zimparks board should address the challenges affecting the organisation and the wildlife industry.
The challenges, she said, included climate change, policy, human resources and external factors that need to be addressed urgently to reduce poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
“The board needs to put in place short, medium and long term mechanisms to address these challenges, we need to make sure that current issues in the fisheries sector are dealt with,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
“We have 10 000 small to medium dams in the country, and we have started consultations to come up with a fisheries and aqua culture policy which will guide developments in the fisheries sector.”
On Zinwa, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said: “The major challenge at Zinwa is currently low revenue collection, which in turn is affecting operations. Zinwa is owed about $120 million by various consumers who include Government departments, irrigators, local authorities and domestic water consumers.
“Several water infrastructure projects are stalled due to lack of funding and these include Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, Gwayi-Shangani Dam, Marovanyati and Semwa Dams. The board is tasked with mobilising resources for the resumption and subsequent completion of projects.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said EMA had the mandate to urgently address the alarming levels of water and air pollution in the country.
“Air, water and land pollution should be urgently addressed in the face of increased degradation and pollution, especially in urban areas, which have reached alarming proportions,” she said.
“Furthermore, our wetlands continue to be under threat from unscrupulous land developers and this has serious bearing on water supply and overall ecosystems balance.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Mrs Mukogo should ensure that the Forestry Commission secured funds towards resuscitating the country’s depreciating forests.
“The new chairperson is expected to lead the commission at a time when resources are scarce and each parastatal is expected to leverage its assets to raise revenue and address deforestation issues,” she said.
“Our parastatals require strong and competent board members to assist Government in executing its mandate. The boards play a critical role in advising Government on various environmental issues so that informed decisions are made,” she added. The Herald