BINGA legislator Joel Gabbuza Gabuza has accused Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) officials of routinely seizing fish from poor villagers for their own consumption.
Gabuza told the National Assembly this week that Zimparks officials were notorious for chasing after the vendors forcing them to desert market stalls to sell their fish under trees.
Contributing to a motion on the harassment of women informal traders by local authorities, the MP said most families were poor and depended on selling fish.
“A donor agency built a fish market for some women at Siatshilaba business centre, bought them some rigs and these women pay for catching fish to Zimparks and once they have sold the fish to the vendors, the vendors pay council to sell the fish at the market built by a donor,” Gabuza said.
“However, the same Zimparks 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. Council comes and charges them. They pay money, but parks also want some money. Parks is supposed to be charging the fisherman who catch the fish, but they then want to charge the trader at the market instead.”
Gabuza said he had 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 that fish,” he said.
“They eat the fish with their families. At some stage, I was actually advising them to poison the fish so that they die because that is very satanic.”
Gebuza said it was satanic as the traders would have lost the little money that they spend buying fish “and some big somebody driving a twin cab given by the government for free simply comes to steal the fish from a poor woman; takes that fish and eats with his family.