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Strengthening Enforcement: The Role of Law in Achieving PVFS Goals

While the core principles of Pristine Victoria Falls Society (PVFS) revolve around persuasion and collective responsibility, the recognition of entrenched bad habits necessitates the incorporation of law enforcement measures. In the absence of robust enforcement, deeply ingrained behaviors often persist, hindering progress toward a cleaner and more sustainable Victoria Falls.

Historic Challenges: An Absence of Effective Law Enforcement

Until recently, law enforcement was virtually non-existent, marked by outdated bylaws imposing fines in pre-1998 Zimbabwe dollars. With fines ranging from $50 to $200 in old Zimdollars, the impracticality of this system became apparent. Our accounting experts calculated that issuing 1 trillion fines would yield a mere US$1. Consequently, no fines had been issued in over 25 years, leaving a regulatory void that hindered the community’s efforts.

Empowering Law Enforcement: Revitalizing Bylaws and Task Forces

Addressing this regulatory gap became a top priority for the PVFS management committee. The initial step involved updating outdated bylaws to inject much-needed teeth into law enforcement. Simultaneously, an environmental task force was established, featuring collaboration among key stakeholders, including PVFS, Vic Falls City Council, Environmental Management Agency (EMA), and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

Identifying Offenders: The Role of Task Force and Economic Benefits

The task force swiftly identified economic and social benefits tied to imposing substantial fines on serial offenders. Recognizing that offenders often left identifiable evidence within the rubbish they dumped, the task force utilized this information to issue fines. Documents found in the dumped waste, offering names and addresses, became instrumental in holding offenders accountable.

Tangible Progress: Fines Issued and Future Advocacy

In the latter part of 2023, the task force issued over 300 fines, ranging from US$50 to $1000. This marked a significant shift from the previous lack of enforcement, demonstrating a tangible commitment to curbing irresponsible behavior. PVFS remains steadfast in its commitment to zero tolerance, advocating for ongoing collaboration with the council to further tighten littering laws and propose even more substantial fines for repeat offenders.

Toward Zero Tolerance: PVFS’s Ongoing Advocacy

As PVFS continues its campaign for a zero-tolerance approach, the organization remains actively engaged with the council. The objective is to not only refine existing littering laws but also to advocate for more imposing fines for those who persistently violate environmental regulations. This multifaceted strategy aims to instill a sense of accountability, ensuring that legal measures align with the community’s vision for a pristine and environmentally responsible Victoria Falls.


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