Home » Governance » Harare Mayor Speaks On Chicken Ban

HARARE Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has said there is need to keep the city clean while at the same time accommodating the social and practical realities of a failed economy.

Manyenyeni’s comments come after an outcry by residents following reports that the director of health had banned backyard poultry rearing in the residential areas.

Using the 1962 by law, Dr Prosper Chonzi warned residents keeping chickens for resale in the backyard of their homes that they will face prosecution.

The news was met with outcry by residents saying that the city was now losing the plot.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Manyenyeni said while he understood that the majority of Harare city bye-laws were old most of them were not necessarily irrelevant as they are still serving the city well.

“All bye-laws remain in force until revoked Council officials have the duty to attend to them in the normal course of their work”.

“We hear issues around priorities etc, some people argue that we must not deal with lower priority issues.

“We can’t be dealing with just potholes, water and grass cutting all the time, we have a much wider coverage beyond the key ones – so we have to spread ourselves out still”.

Harare Mayor added that if over time a need to review any bye-law emerges the council must not be blind to that reality.

“Specifically for the chicken projects we must assess the thoughts of yester-year, see what else has changed apart from the economic meltdown”.

He added: “Are the health risks, medical and veterinary, still the same?”

“What are the likely scenarios to humans and to chickens e.g. can we have a poultry disease outbreak which could wipe out the large scale chicken operations or is this possibility remote?

“Can we relax the law but raise the chicken rearing conditions etc and I have shared with the city fathers the enforcement of the ban on chicken rearing and am still waiting for their thoughts”.

Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba said the council needed to reflect on the issue and consider the context under which the bye law was put in place.

“We are wondering what informed the council to take such a drastic response to the people when they have councillors who must have been educating residents on the by-laws”.

“The socio-economic conditions prevailing today make chicken rearing a viable alternative to earning a living. Most residents were at one point gainfully employed but the economy has forced most of them to resort to chicken rearing as an alternative means of earning a living”.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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