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Ndola City Council-NCC has swung into action to curb unlicensed meat selling and makeshift bars alias ‘ shabeens ‘ in markets and bus stations.
NCC Assistant Public Relations Manager, Waluka Mwaekwa says a team comprising public health inspectors and Council police officers has been deployed to curb the vice in all the markets in the commercial capital.
Ms. Mwaekwa says her local authority has also observed that illegal alcohol dens are becoming haven’s for underage drinking and criminals.
“The local Authority through the established task force, deployed the team after it observed that the illegal alcohol dens are becoming havens for underage drinking.
“ These have also become hiding places for petty thieves who are terrorising people working from the stations and markets as well as the general public,” Ms. Mwaekwa said.
In a statement she added that makeshift bars have also become conduits for other public nuisances such as use of empty packages and other discarded materials for disposal of human waste.
“These illegal entities are a security and health risk as the food sold has the capacity to spread diseases and cause food poisoning,” she said.
Ms.Mwaekwa has since urged members of the public to buy their meat products from designated butcheries within their localities and not from traders who illegally sell fresh meat in open air.
She said this is because licensed butcheries comply with the minimum requirements to preserve the quality of meat products sold to the public.
The sale of fresh meat in open air and unauthorised sale of liquor is prohibited as stipulated in Statutory Instrument No 12 of 2018 on street vending and nuisances, Amendment No.2, the Public Health Act Cap 295 and the Liquor Licensing Act No.20 of 2012 of the laws of Zambia.
And Margaretta Nyimbili a fresh fish trader from Chipulukusu market has advised the local authority to first erect facilities that will enable traders of fresh meat products to sell their merchandise.
Mrs. Nyimbili said the council should not just be quick to confiscate people’s merchandise to please it’s superiors without doing that which it’s mandated to the members of the public.
“I will tell you that we are trading in open air not because we don’t care for the lives of the masses but are doing this due to non-availability of facilities such as cold-rooms, and other facilities,” she said.
Meanwhile, John Sandwe of Nkwazi market said through phone that the move by the council if implemented, will send many into joblessness.
Mr. Sandwe said due to lack of jobs, the vulnerable in particular, have opted to buy meat from cheaper suppliers which they end up selling in open air markets and have never heard of anybody complaining of diarrhea disease.
But Kelvin Mkandawire a resident of Northrise , who welcomes the move , has also urged the council to further scrutinise where the said meat products are slaughtered from. – ZANIS

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