Emmerson Mnangagwa's new plan is rubbish: to wit, collecting it
President Emmerson Mnangagwa appeared to be walking in the footsteps of Rwanda's Paul Kagame when he launched a national clean-up campaign this week.
Emulating Kagame's national clean-up programme, which is held on the last Saturday of every month, the clean-up campaign by Mnangagwa will be held on the first Friday of each month.
Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is said to be the cleanest capital in Africa.
Zimbabwe generates about 1.65Mt of waste annually, according to the Environmental Management Agency. Of this, 18% is plastic. The bulk of the waste ends up in open illegal dumpsites, urban streams and wetlands, and often leads to the blockage of drainage systems and contamination of surface and underground water.
The programme, launched on Wednesday, requires that all residents participate in litter collection for several hours.
Mnangagwa said it was mandatory for all government institutions, educational establishments, security forces, civil society groups and the private sector to participate in the programme.
Laws will be put in place targeting environmental offenders.
"The government is committed to uphold and further environmental rights through enactment and passing of laws which enforce responsible waste management behaviour at individual, household and company level," said Mnangagwa.
The national campaign is meant to combat the outbreak of diseases such as cholera and typhoid, and spruce up the country's image to tourists.
The minister of state for Manicaland province, Ellen Gwaradzimba, said the business sector is key to the success of the national clean-up programme, as it can provide resources.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, the country's largest industry body, pledged support, but cautioned against any loss of productivity that might harm the economy.
Its president, Sifelani Jabangwe, said companies will find their own ways to contribute resources and time to the efforts.
"This is two hours of production time and the economy can suffer because of the loss of time. So as industry we can make part of our workforce available and leave others to continue with production," he said.
Another area in which Mnangagwa is seen as taking a cue from Kagame is the setting up of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA).
The ZIA's equivalent, the Rwanda Development Board, is a one-stop centre responsible for making decisions on investment inquiries across all sectors of Rwanda's economy.
Its efficiency has been hailed for cutting much of the red tape that accompanies setting up a business in Rwanda...