The Chinhoyi Municipality has been fined US$20 000 by the Environmental Management Board for breaking environmental regulations.

Chinhoyi Municipality represented by the Town Clerk, the Town Engineer, Director Health Services and Chamber Secretary appeared before the Environmental Management Board facing three charges namely, discharging raw sewage into the environment, disposal of solid waste without a legal dumping site and failure to control rampant illegal sand and clay extraction by brick moulders who have left pits and gullies.

After pleading guilty on all charges, the 10 member EMA Board led by Vice Chairperson, Lawyer Jennipher Tanyanyiwa fined the municipality US$5 000 on each count and another US$5 000 for outstanding tickets that were not paid.

The local authority was given 2 weeks to pay the fines and rectify the environmental problems.

In an interview, EMA Board Vice Chairperson, Jennipher Tanyanyiwa said the EMA board will crack the whip on all municipalities, industries and companies committing environment crimes, adding that all local authorities should make sure they do not expose residents to raw solid and liquid waste.

Chinhoyi Town Clerk, Mr. Ezekiel Muringani said the municipality is facing an acute shortage of funds to rectify environmental challenges.

The EMA Board in terms of section 27 of EMA Act can sit for a hearing with the same powers as a magistrate.