Veld fire prevention awareness
VELD fires have become a persistent environmental challenge in Zimbabwe destroying natural resources, property and life. Veld fires are characteristic during the dry season and most prevalent in the period July to October because of the dry veld and the prevailing hot-windy weather conditions. Veld fire statistics at a glance The cumulative area burnt since the onset of the fire season on 31st of July 2016 to the 23rd of September is 612653.5 ha, a 27.9% decrease compared to the 849758 ha burnt by the same period in the previous year, 2015.
The impact of these blazes has been loss of natural resources, valuable property and life. It is saddening to note that five (5) people have been killed by veld fires in the current 2016 fire season.
Reports indicate that most fires are a result of the human activities such as; land clearing, cigarette smoking, hunting, bee smoking and fires made along roadsides by people while awaiting for transport or during breakdowns.
How do communities participate in fighting veld fires?
Managing veld fires is a complex issue that requires a holistic and multi- stakeholder approach. Communities are the landlords, occupiers, users of land, and thus they are an important stakeholder in preventing veld fires.
All farmers must have boundary fire guards which are at least 9 metres wide and internal one to which are at least 4.5 metres wide. The fireguards must divide the farm into segments so that if there is an accidental fire it will not destroy the whole farm.
These fireguards must be maintained ensuring that they are free of any flammable material. Traditional and Local Leaders Traditional and local leaders being the custodians of our natural resources are encouraged to:
Spearhead the construction of standard fireguards in their communities.
Establish fire – fighting teams within the local communities who will lead the rest of the community in extinguishing veld fires.
Use traditional courts to sanction veld fire offenders.
Keep a record of occurrences in their areas
Hold fire awareness meetings campaigns throughout the fire season.
Establish a veld fire alert system in every village such as drum beat, bell/gong or whistle. Farmers According to the Forest Act (Chapter 19:05) as read with Statutory Instrument 7 of 2007 Environmental Management (Environmental impact Assessment and Ecosystems Protection) Regulations; land owners or occupiers are to put take fire preventive measure before the onset of the fire season. Farms are supposed to:
Make standard fireguards which are 9m wide on either side of the farm boundaries and also internal fireguards which are 4,5m around valuable resources/property
Inspect fireguards regularly to make sure that they are free of any combustible material.
Ensure that fire- fighting equipment such as; water filled knapsack sprayers and bowsers, fire beaters and sacks are at an accessible point during the fire season.
Report all fire incidences to the nearest ZRP or EMA offices within 7 days.
Have fire alert systems such as drums, whistles and bells; all the veld fire and
Listen to weather personnel on the fire danger index so as to improve your state of preparedness. School Children This is a very important stakeholder group and we are concerned with their safety which can be compromised by veld fires. School children should:
Not try to cross over veld fires as this may result in fire related fatalities.
Immediately report fire incidences to adults such as parents or teachers before the fires spread and should not in any way attempt to extinguish the fires in the absence of adults.
Never climb trees in trying to flee from a veld fire as both the tree and the children could be burnt to death.
Bee Smokers, Cigarette Motorists and Travellers
Smokers can play their roles in veld fire management by ensuring that they extinguish their cigarette stubs before throwing them away to avoid veld fires.
Motorists should ensure that car electrical systemsare serviced and loose mechanical parts such as the exhaust must be tightened to avoid veld fires emanating from sparks so created after getting in contact with the grass on the road servitude as you drive.
Do not drive through fire flames or areas where your vision is obscured by smoke from veld fires.
Travellers boarding early morning buses should completely extinguish road side fires used to keep warm whilst waiting for transport. This can be done using water or moist soil. We are now in the fire season- don’t start fires outside your residential or commercial premises. Smokers, SECTION 80 of the Income Tax Act [Chapter: 23:06] provides for the deduction of 10% Withholding Tax from all amounts payable to all persons who enter into contracts with the State or a statutory body, a quasi-government institution and taxpayers who are registered with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), unless a payee furnishes the paying officer with a valid Tax Clearance Certificate. What does a “Contract” mean? “Contract” means an agreement in terms of which the State or a statutory body, quasigovernmental institution or registered taxpayer is obliged to pay one or more persons an amount or amounts totaling or aggregating US$1 000 or more.
When is the amount withheld remitted to ZIMRA?
The amount withheld should be remitted to the Commissioner General of ZIMRA on or before the 10th day of the month following that in which the payment was made. The payment should be accompanied by a schedule showing all names of the persons from whom the 10% was deducted and attached to the prescribed form (Rev 5) and submitted to ZIMRA. Withholding Tax Certificates Any paying officer who has withheld any amount, should furnish the payee concerned with a Withholding Tax Certificate.
The format of the certificate should be in a form approved by the Commissioner General of ZIMRA, and should clearly show the gross amount withheld. Crediting of Withholding Taxes The Commissioner General of ZIMRA retains any withholding amount remitted to him until the Income Tax payable by the payee for the year of assessment has been assessed.
The amount shall be allowed as a credit against the Income Tax payable by the payee.
Where the amount exceeds the Income Tax so payable by the payee, the Commissioner General of ZIMRA will refund the excess to the payee or may be set off against other tax liabilities. Failure to Withhold 10% Tax If a statutory body, quasi-governmental institution or registered taxpayer fails to withhold or to pay the Commissioner General of ZIMRA the amount required to be withheld from a payee, the statutory body, quasi-governmental institution or registered taxpayer will be liable for the payment not later than the date on which payment should have been made if the amount had been withheld.
Where a statutory body, quasigovernment institution or registered taxpayer pays to the Commissioner General of ZIMRA the amount for failure to pay any amount required to be withheld from a payee, it shall have the right, within 24 months from the date on which payment should have been made, if the amount had been withheld, to recover the amount from the payee.
The statutory, quasi –government institution or registered taxpayer concerned is not entitled to recover from the payee any penalty and interest charged for failure to withhold. Occurrences where 10% Withholding Tax cannot be withheld:
Persons with a valid Tax Clearance Certificate;
Sale effected in any shop in the ordinary course of the business of such shop, or any other consumer contract for the sale or supply of goods or services or both in which the seller or supplier is dealing in the course of business and the purchaser or user is not;
Amount paid in terms of an employment contract
An agreement for the settlement of a delictual claim against the State or a statutory corporation;
Payments for the supply produce and livestock by farmers. Reminder for Payment of Tax Our valued clients are reminded that the PAYE for the month of September 2016 is due on or before 10th October 2016.
Disclaimer This article was compiled by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for information purposes only. ZIMRA shall not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from use of material in this article and no liability will attach to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
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effectiveness, cheap to maintain and above all it must be easy to explain to the ordinary workers.
There are many methods of job evaluation, however over eighty percent of organisations in sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe included, use the Paterson Job Evaluation method.
There are others like Castellion which in my opinion is one of the most expensive to install and maintain and is difficult for workers to understand.
It used to have twelve grading factors and these have since been fused and reduced to six.
Others like Hay method are more user friendly to managerial positions and maintenance costs are generally high.
This is a licensed package. Before selecting a job grading method, the organisation must evaluate available methods and select one that best meets business needs capable of adding value.
Common areas of conflict that must be watched include job description writing and confirmation.
The golden rule is that never grade a job whose job description has not been signed by both the incumbent and supervisor confirming that it is correct, more-so given the fact that the quality of the job description largely determines the accuracy of the grade.
Further, never use a grading method that has not been agreed and accepted at NEC, or organisation wide.
And above all, ensure the grading is as participatory as possible and those jobs to be graded by consultants without participation of employees must be pronounced at the onset, these are usually for senior managers.
The recording of the grades must be done soon after the job has been graded with grading score sheets being kept as security documents until the job evaluation settles in and all related queries attended to.
The rule book must be signed by all grades and kept permanently as security documents as it helps keeps the history of unique decisions that were made.
Above all the job evaluation quality checking process must be explained to the workers and any changes to grades must be accompanied by notes as to why the grade changed at quality checking stage.
After quality checking all grades must sign to confirm the accuracy of grading and refer the exercise for confirmation as complete by works council.
Organisations should also avoid undertaking job evaluation if they have no capacity to carry related costs as it leads to conflict, more-so if the issue of affordability was never discussed and agreed before embarking on the exercise. Related problems are a major source of conflict. In conclusion, there are many other things involved in job grading and salary structuring, which are the two major activities that constitute job evaluation.
The bottom-line is that the exercise must be professionally done under the guidance of experts.
Davies Ndumiso Sibanda can be contacted on: email: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> Or cell No: 0772 375 235