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Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeNewsGovernment Proposes 10-year Jail Term for Fisheries Theft

Government Proposes 10-year Jail Term for Fisheries Theft

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, is proposing a minimum 10-year jail sentence for those convicted of stealing from fisheries.

The offense is currently classified as ordinary theft, but rising cases have prompted authorities to push for a more punitive sentence that is equivalent to stock theft.

Addressing the media recently, the Director in the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Mr Milton Makumbe, said guidelines for the proposed sentence are currently under consideration by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

“Cases of fish theft are on the rise and this is negatively affecting our progress, especially on the Presidential Fisheries Scheme, which seeks to transform rural communities and schools,” he said.

“We met with stakeholders for the fisheries and aquaculture policy review and agreed that stealing fish is a serious offense. A jail term of 10 years will be a deterrent enough to stop such behavior. Theft sabotages Government programs and has to be treated with the seriousness it deserves,” said Makumbe.

Meanwhile, the Government has restocked Chinorumba High School fishponds with 4 200 tilapia fingerlings after the school’s 500 kilograms of fish worth US$3000 were stolen.

The stolen fish, part of the Presidential Fish scheme, were a vital resource for the school, acquired through the Presidential Rural Development Programme.

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