EMA DIRECTOR GETS BAIL newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

EMA DIRECTOR GETS BAIL newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Director General Aaron Shigona has appeared in court, who was recently arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office.

Chigona appeared before Harare magistrate, Mr Stanford Mambangi, who granted him bail of US$300.

The complainant is the State represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife.

EMA is a corporate body whose functions include protecting the sustainable environment and organizing, monitoring, reviewing and approving environmental assessments.

Chigona is represented by Messrs. Admire Rubaya and by virtue of his position as a public servant, his duties include issuing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificates and ensuring compliance with the provisions of the Environment Management Agency Act, Chapter 20:27 (Act).

The court heard that on July 26, 2021, Liangming Jin
[Project Proponent] Represented by Borrowdale Investments [Pvt] Ltd has submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment application to the EMA for the development of block house land on Ward No. 40001 measuring 1,5773 hectares and Ward No. 40072 measuring 23,9684 hectares, Borrowdale West, Harare, land that was allegedly corruptly offered to the proponent by City of Harare officials Without following due procedures.

The council employees behind the scandal have been arrested over this case and are in remand awaiting trial.

The state of the state is that the area is surrounded by neighboring property owners and stakeholders such as the Dandaro Home Owners Association, Augur Investments, WestProp Zimbabwe and Borrowdale residents.

The court heard that from September 2021 to October 2021, the EMA carried out an assessment and review of the prospectus for both platforms in question in accordance with the law.

It is alleged that on October 4, 2021 and October 20, 2021, respectively, the Director of Environmental Protection informed the bidder in writing that the proposed project area was located within a wetland and that the impacts associated with the construction of the proposed infrastructure were irreversible. Biophysical, social and economic impacts and that the applicant does not have legal title to the land, therefore, the application was rejected.

Al-Moayad was also advised to file an appeal with the accused under Section 129 of the Code if he was aggrieved by the decision.

on On November 3, 2021, the defendant appealed under section 129 of the Act and the defendant filed an environmental reassessment of the site on November 30, 2021, and on December 9, 2021, wrote to the defendant informing him that: The Agency continues to stand by its initial determination that the proposed project is not compatible with the proposed site. It is a wetland.

The applicant was also notified of his right to appeal to the Minister under Section 130 of the Act.

on On July 26 last year, the accused instructed officials from the EMA Harare District Office, Armstrong Moyo and Leon Mutungamire, to come up with EIA review guidelines that established that the area was compatible with housing development however that the area was the essence of a wetland and that the accused It had previously refused to grant environmental impact assessments.

The State submits that this is also inconsistent with the accused’s previous position that the proponent must lodge an appeal with the Minister in relation to section 130.

On August 2 of last year, the defendant inexplicably granted Al-Moayyad’s request to conduct an EIA, but the agency rejected it and Al-Moayyad exhausted the agency’s appeals process.

The EIA was in relation to the same project that had refused to issue an EIA that consistently indicated it was damaging wetlands.

By issuing the EIA Certificate and ignoring the appeal process, the accused had a duty to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Environment Management Agency Act, Chapter 20:27. [the Act] He acted in contravention and violation of the provisions of Articles 129 and 130 of the law, which stipulates the appeal process.

Moreover, it was contrary to his inherent duty to protect the environment.

The State alleges that the accused intentionally acted contrary and inconsistent with his duties for the purpose of showing favoritism to Borrowdale Investments (Pvt) Ltd. Herald

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