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Typhoid outbreak: Council threatens firms


Harare City Council has threatened to close down businesses and ban illegal vendors believed to be selling contaminated products, as the local authority suspects most of them were responsible for the spread of the typhoid outbreak that has hit Harare.

“There are business premises that might have contaminated goods.

“We may think of closing them until we are able to protect our people in the city. These are critical issues the city will have to take,” Town Clerk, Tendai Mahachi said.

And vendors will not be spared, he warned.
Deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto said it was high time councillors stopped engaging in populist actions to garner votes, but should face reality and deal with vendors once and for all to stop the spread of diseases.

“Usually politicians want populist policies and think that stopping illegal vending might make them unpopular, closing businesses will make them lose votes come election time, but this time we want the lives of the people to be protected,” said Chiroto.

“We will stop illegal vending in those areas. We no longer want to let our residents and stakeholders think that all is well yet we know they need assistance,” he said.

The typhoid outbreak, council warned, was getting out of hand and if not contained, another cholera outbreak reminiscent of the 2008 pandemic that claimed more than 4 000 lives, cannot be ruled out.

Council officials said this during a tour of Budiriro and Kuwadzana suburbs to assess the impact of the outbreak together with stakeholders who are playing a part in arresting the typhoid.

Mahachi conceded that council was not doing enough on refuse collection and appealed for assistance from the corporate world to arrest the typhoid outbreak threatening to go out of hand if nothing is done as a matter of urgency.

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