Saturday Dialogue:Spotlessly clean toilets a must


I am very sure that there are many people out there that have loose bladders due to various chronic conditions that afflict them like hypertension and heart problems.

Saturday Dialogue with Ropafadzo Mapimhidze

Drugs to manage these conditions, which are known as diuretics, result in frequent visits to the washrooms or toilets for urination.

But the problem is compounded especially when you are shopping and realise the shops either have locked up their toilets and public toilets are so messy one cannot think of setting a foot there.

The other day, I went to buy meat at a shopping centre in Warren Park when I felt like using the loo.

A worker in a butchery where my friend was buying meat, directed me to the back of the shop and my goodness what I saw in that toilet is unprintable.
I dashed out to an uncle’s home in that neighbourhood and told my friend not to buy the meat and instead went to Westgate shops.

This encounter at Warren Park shops is one of many that I have experienced in different parts of the city where toilets are either not accessible or too dirty for any reasonable hygiene-conscious person to access.

How on earth does a shop that sells edibles have a toilet that stinks and is messed up with urine everywhere? This is just not acceptable.

Not so long ago, I drove into a petrol station and as the attendants were filling the tank with petrol, I sought permission to use the washroom.

“The keys have been taken by the manager,” an attendant responded.

When I asked that why should the manager go away with the keys leaving you with nowhere access to the toilet, he said: “We go to the sanitary or service lane to relieve ourselves because the manager does not want us to share the toilet with him?”

Can you imagine this fuel service station that serves hundreds of cars a day and yet there is no ablution block for either workers or customers?

Many leading shops and supermarkets do not have ablution facilities for easy access to shoppers.

But there is just one place at Mabelreign shopping centre where I normally stop to either buy chicken and fresh chips or drinks at a popular sports bar at this complex.

Although I am not a beer drinker, I enjoy eating their roasted chicken, freshly fried chips and green fresh salad when I am going home after a long day’s work.

This place has absolutely clean ablution facilities and never have I ever walked in their washroom to find mess in there. This is one unique place where premises are so clean from the kitchen, lounge and washrooms.

There has never been a day that I have noticed any changes in service delivery and cleanliness. Their washrooms are well cleaned, freshened, soap and tissues always in place. There are fragrances to spray and the cubicles are spacious and have a bright and fresh look all the time.

Ligi Sports Bar owners must be given a big pat on the back because I have never found their ablution facilities in a mess although there seems to be a huge traffic of people that frequent that drinking spot.

I have tried finding out without success the owner of this business because this is an example of what progressive shop owners should emulate. Their washrooms are so clean that you can actually carry your food in there.

Many businesses argue that they do not put tissues because customers steal them. How much are the cheapest toilet tissues by the way? Don’t they cost less than $2?

This week, I was at Roadport to send off a relative who was heading back to her home in Zambia when I decided to use the washroom at this busy bus terminus.

When this place was commissioned over a decade ago, the toilets were so immaculately maintained and matched those at international airports
The ablution block at this terminus has since lost its glitter. The toilet seats have not been replaced and the lighting in those toilets is so dim and I wonder why people are made to pay a dollar each time they use them.

Businesspeople should invest more on such facilities to avoid spread of germs and diseases. Council must come down hard and ensure that standards are maintained at various public places because lack of these check systems will just compound the problem.

All areas where food is sold or eaten should be thoroughly inspected and fines imposed on offending businesspeople. This applies to open-air eating places where meat is roasted, eaten with sadza cooked at these points at night where there are no running taps or toilets.

These “braai” places smell of urine and human excreta and yet more and more people continue to flock there in the name of entertainment.

The central business district of Harare does not have accessible toilets for the public, compelling people to relieve themselves in dark alleys, service lanes and secluded spots in empty plastic bottles that are later thrown all over the place.
What a messy city.
Spotlessly clean toilets are a must for the good health of the nation and there should be no compromise on that.


  1. That is typical african standard sister. I’m also saddened by the ever-deteriorating standards everywhere I go. I wonder why on earth we fail to at least maintain the standards set by Ian Smith’s regime. When they say “the country has gone to the dogs” it is not far from the truth.

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