CONSTITUTION and Legal Affairs Minister, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi has instructed the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to oversee gross environment cases in the country, instead of leaving the task to the lawyers of the National Environment Management Council (NEMC).
Minister Kabudi said NEMC had just been designated to oversee environment laws but the DDP office has the mandate of overseeing the laws in order to protect the nation's environment and natural resources.
“I instruct the DPP to oversee big environment cases, NECM lawyers should be assisted by the DDPoffice,” Prof Kabudi instructed early this week in Mugumu, when he was opening a new building for National Prosecutions Office in Serengeti District, Mara Region.
The same situation applies to government institutions overseeing laws to protect water basins, he added.
“NEMC should know that DDP is present and I will talk with the Minister responsible for environment matters. Environment degradation is a criminal offence,” he cautioned.
Minister Kabudi further wanted the DDP office to act on massive deforestation, happening in various parts of the country by people who are not environment lovers.
“Forests are being cut without mercy. Forest destruction is a criminal offence,” he warned, calling for stern measures to arrest the trend before it gets out of hand.
Prof. Kabudi also used the opportunity to urge citizens in Serengeti District to stop poaching activities for bush meat, describing poaching as economic sabotage.
He also directed DPP to increase mussels on the protection of minerals to avoid the smuggling of gold in mining areas.
The DDP Mr Sylvester Mwakitalu and several officials from his office were present during the occasion that saw the opening of the National Prosecutions Office new building in Serengeti district built by Grumeti Fund at the cost of approximately 284m/-.