The government proposes a 10-year prison sentence for the theft of fishery products


The Ministry of Land, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development proposes a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for those convicted of fishing theft.

The crime is currently classified as common theft, but the rise in cases has led authorities to push for a more punitive sentence equivalent to stock theft.

Addressing the media recently, the Director of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Mr Milton Makumbe, said the Ministry of Justice is currently reviewing sentencing guidelines. proposal. Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

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

“We met with stakeholders to review fisheries and aquaculture policy and agreed that fish theft is a serious crime. A 10-year prison sentence will be a sufficient deterrent to put an end to such behaviour. Theft sabotages government programs and must be treated with the seriousness it deserves,” Makumbe said.

Meanwhile, the Government has restocked the Chinorumba Secondary School fish ponds with 4,200 tilapia fingerlings after the school’s 500 kilograms of fish, valued at US$3,000, were stolen.

The stolen fish, part of the Presidential Fisheries Plan, was a vital resource for the school, acquired through the Presidential Rural Development Program.