Councillors alarmed by sprouting of unlicensed tuck shops

Bulawayo councillors have raised alarm over the proliferation of unlicensed tuckshops around the city with some selling foodstuffs which could expose residents to health hazards.

According to the latest council report, the city fathers emphasised the importance of doing constant checks at various outlets that sell foodstuffs to ensure they are adhering to the city’s by-laws and to the Covid-19 regulations.

The councillors highlighted that there were some well-known outlets that were scoring below standard during routine checkups from the city health department.

“Councillor Silas Chigora noted that some Supermarkets, Shops and Restaurants were being scored below C. He wanted to know the action being taken with regards to such Supermarkets, Shops and Restaurants. He suggested that such business be closed and reopened after satisfactory results,” read the council report.

“The Deputy Mayor, Councilor Mlandu Ncube was also concerned about illegal home tuckshops which had increased around the city, mostly defying the national Covid-19 lockdown regulations. He was also concerned about established bread suppliers who traded with these unlicensed tuckshops.”

Chairperson of the Health Committee Councillor Sinikiwe Mutanda in response to the concerns said inspections were being done throughout the city and remedial action was being instituted accordingly.

She said engagements would be done with bread suppliers who supplied bread to unlicensed tuckshops as well as those who were not observing Covid-19 regulations.

Alderman Monica Lubimbi added that the council should make more efforts to disinfect public places around the city as all semi-detached houses should cases of Covid-19 be reported.

In response, Cllr Mutanda noted that there were residents who were not reporting Covid-19 deaths to the city council due to fear of stigmatization with their communities hence disinfection of such houses was not easy to carry out.

“Cllr Mutanda explained that there was a lot of stigma associated with Covid 19. Fear of stigmatisation led a lot of families to remain silent when a relative died because of Covid 19 complications. She urged Funeral Parlours to assist in guiding affected families accordingly. Disinfection needed highly trained staff and it would not be prudent to allow Covid 19 taskforce members to provide the disinfection services,” the minutes read.

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