The Sunday News
Nontobeko Mlotshwa, Sunday News Reporter
POLICE in Matabeleland South have urged residents in Gwanda, Filabusi and Solusi not to set up camps while harvesting mopane worms popularly known as amacimbi/madora as this is against Covid-19 regulations.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena said residents residing in areas where there are mopane worms were not allowed to squatter or build shacks as they usually do during mopane worms harvesting seasons as it was against Covid-19 regulations.
Insp Mangena said there would be patrols in areas such as Filabusi, along Solusi road and Gwanda where people usually camp to harvest mopane worms.
“Police officers will be patrolling in areas where usually people construct temporary log houses for shelter whilst harvesting mopane worms to make sure that there won’t be any construction of shacks.
“Usually people who come from far away areas are the ones who build shacks while harvesting amacimbi.
“There is no chance that we will be successful in banning people from harvesting amacimbi, rather, this year we are banning construction of shacks where people stay whilst harvesting as it goes against covid 19 regulations” she said.
She also urged residents to report to the nearest stations when they ever see someone building shacks in those areas as it is against the law.
Speaking on behalf of Forestry Commission in Matabeleland South, Mr Bekezela Tshuma urged residents who were harvesting mopane worms to desist from cutting down trees as it destroys the ecosystem as well as the environment and urged them to harvest those that were within their reach.
“People must not cut down trees when harvesting mopane worms. We have noticed a trend where people who come from faraway places are the ones who cut down trees to build shacks for shelter and at the end of the day they destroy forests.
“So we urge residents not to cut down trees but they must harvest mopane worms with a mind that they want to do so again next time,” he said.
He further on added that this year they will be working closely with the police and rangers in making sure that residents do not build shacks in areas where there are mopane worms and that residents follow Covid-19 laid down guidelines in the process of harvesting mopane worms.
“This year as forest Commission we will be working closely with the police and rangers in making sure that people who are destroying forests are brought to book and charged accordingly” he said.