Gweru’s Mtapa market a health time bomb

Mtapa market

THE proliferation of illegal dumpsites at the Mtapa fresh produce market in Gweru is a potential health hazard with a cholera outbreak currently gripping the country, Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution minister Owen Ncube has said.

Speaking at the official launch of the enhanced clean-up programme for urban areas and growth points in the Midlands province on Wednesday this week, Ncube said waste management required concerted efforts from all stakeholders to ensure a clean environment in the province.

“I would like to acknowledge, though, the challenges that the local authorities face, especially, in waste management resulting in wide-spread illegal dumps,” he said.There were reports three years ago that some Zanu PF youths were illegally collecting fees from unregistered occupants of stalls at Mtapa market.

The illegal occupants reportedly saw the number of vendors at the market ballooning to more than 3 000 leading to more illegal dumps and environment degradation rendering ablution facilities inadequate and causing traffic jams at the marketplace.

Zanu PF, however, distanced itself from the unscrupulous people illegally distributing market stalls at Mtapa.Meanwhile, Ncube said his officials would be making frequent visits to all local authorities in the province to assess progress and provision of quality and affordable services to residents.

“We also call on captains of industry and other organisations to exercise their corporate social responsibility role by mobilising resources to assist in resolving waste management issues,” he said.

Ncube said councillors should desist from being involved in the recruitment of casual workers saying the practice created an inefficient and partisan workforce which compromised service delivery.

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