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'Poison the fish so that parks officials die'

by Nduduzo Tshuma
18 Jul 2014 at 06:08hrs | Views
BINGA South Member of the House of Assembly Gabuza Joel Gabbuza (MDC-T) has made a shocking call to fishermen in his constituency to poison their fish in order to KILL Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the local authority's officials who are in the habit of confiscating their catch, describing their actions as "satanic".

The legislator said the officials confiscate the fish to eat with their families leaving desperate villagers with no source of income.

Contributing during a debate on a motion by Zanu-PF Goromonzi West legislator Beatrice Nyamupinga (Zanu-PF) on the ill-treatment of women in the informal trading sector by city authorities and municipality police on Tuesday, Gabbuza said the phenomenon was not only unique to urban centres.

"It is the work ethic of some of the executive members, the people that we put in office.

"The type of attitude that you see even in the rural areas, like where I come from in my constituency. A donor agency built a fish market place for some women at Siachilaba Business Centre, bought them some rigs and these women pay for catching fish to the National Parks and once they have sold the fish to the vendors, the vendors pay to the council to sell the fish at the market built by a donor," said Gabbuza.

He added, "However, the same parks officials follow them and confiscate all the fish asking them to pay again.

"Now, that whole fish market has been deserted and the women are now selling under trees hiding away from the parks officials."

The former minister blasted the local authority and ZimParks officials for fleecing poor fish traders.

"Council comes and charges them. They pay money but parks also wants some money. But parks is supposed to be charging the fisherman who is catching the fish but they are charging the fisherman who is catching the fish and then want to charge the trader also, the hawker of the fish at the market. Now, people are running away from that market and they have lost their fish."

Gabbuza said he had reports that have a list of names and quantities of fish that were continuously being "stolen."

"I will call it stolen by the parks officials because the fish, after having been confiscated, is never auctioned anywhere. Perishable as it is, there is no way we can say they will keep the fish. They eat the fish with their families," he said.

"At some stage, I was actually advising them to poison the fish so that they (officials) die because that is very satanic. Mr Speaker, it is very satanic. Somebody has lost the little money that they have in buying the fish and some big somebody driving a twin cab given to them by government for free simply comes to steal the fish from a poor woman, takes the fish and eats it with his family.

"How satanic is that? Yet we call ourselves liberated." He went on, "That's very unfair Mr Speaker. Such attitudes by some of our civil servants, I think need to be nipped in the bud. It is very bad and it does not portray a good image of government to the ordinary citizenry in the rural areas."

Source - Chronicle