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Chamisa's Harare based ally against stadium construction in Victoria Falls

by Staff reporter
18 May 2024 at 12:41hrs | Views
Harare West MP Joanah Mamombe (CCC) raised apprehensions regarding Zimbabwe Cricket's proposal to build a 10,000-seater multi-purpose sports stadium in Victoria Falls for the 2027 International Cricket Council World Cup.

Addressing the National Assembly on Wednesday, Mamombe expressed concerns that constructing a stadium in Victoria Falls might negatively impact the city's biodiversity and put its UNESCO World Heritage status at risk.

She suggested that authorities explore alternative sites for the stadium to safeguard the natural beauty of Victoria Falls, preserving its status as a top tourist attraction.

Below is Mamombe’s presentation and the National Assembly Speaker, Jacob Mudenda’s response:

HON. MAMOMBE: Thank you very much. Hon. Speaker Sir. Zimbabwe, in 2013, enacted a new Constitution which entrenched Environmental Rights in Section 73, 'every person has the right to have the environment that is protected for the benefit of the present and future generations through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution, promote conservation and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources.

Now, Hon. Speaker Sir, on Tuesday, Cabinet approved a proposed plan to construct a multi-purpose stadium in Victoria Falls. Hon. Speaker, Victoria Falls is renowned for its natural environment and wildlife.

Our tourism industry is heavily reliant on nature-based attractions. Zimbabwe is the third largest country in terms of wildlife resources, that is, rhinos, elephants and so forth. Why do we recognise the importance of infrastructure development Hon. Speaker?

It has the potential to attract more tourists. We cannot achieve this without disrupting our biodiversity. Many other cities in Zimbabwe could host the stadium that has been proposed thereby distributing the economic benefits without sacrificing the environmental integrity.

If tourists Hon. Speaker, can travel from South Africa to come and visit Victoria Falls, I am sure they can do the same to travel from other cities to go and visit Victoria Falls.

UNESCO heritage status is also at risk as we note that Victoria Falls was previously facing serious risks of losing the UNESCO World Heritage due to the developments that threaten its natural state.

Hon. Speaker, instead, we should explore alternative locations that do not compromise our valuable natural resources and conservation efforts.

I, therefore, pray that the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality together with the Minister of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture bring a Ministerial Statement to elaborate on this plan to this august House. Ngatisarasai chiri mumawoko nekuda kuwombera Hon. Speaker Sir. I thank you. - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Your concern Hon. Member, in terms of protection of the environment, is noted. However, there is a master plan that is going to take care of that eventuality and also, if you may recall, the Environmental Impact Assessment will be made before any such infrastructural development takes place.

I hope that the concern you are raising will indeed be given due respect. Do not forget that Victoria Falls, in terms of its master plan, has accommodated the flora and fauna of Hwange National Park which is adjacent to the boundary of the city.

So, I think your concerns will be taken care of and it may not be necessary to ask for a Ministerial Statement.

Source - pindula