RESIDENTS of Harare have reacted angrily to council’s recent ban on rearing of chickens in their backyards, describing the move as insensitive to the plight of thousands of jobless people trying to eke a decent living through poultry projects.
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
Council’s health director Prosper Chonzi last week invoked a 1962 city by-law which forbids keeping of fowls close to premises used for human habitation.
“No poultry house shall be placed nearer than three metres from any boundary or nearer than six metres from premises used for human habitation,” Chonzi ordered.
“No person shall keep any poultry by reasons of continued crowing, quacking clucking, gobbling or like noise tends to destroy the comfort of neighborhood.”
He said those found on the wrong side of the law would be prosecuted.
But residents accused council of concentrating on minor issues instead of addressing service delivery issues.
“The HRT (Harare Residents’ Trust) believes the latest directive from the council is a way of fundraising because they know that most unemployed residents rear chickens for survival,” the HRT said in a statement.
“So they will charge them for alleged illegal activities, yet for all these years, they never enforced their archaic by-law. Residents have to demand explanations from their elected representatives who are always being misled by the council officials.”
Combined Harare Residents’ Association chairperson Simbarashe Moyo said: “This will trigger a public outcry because people feel council is fighting them. This should be a matter between neighbours and not council.”
It added: “These laws were used before Independence and we need new things. The context has changed before and after Independence given the economic performance then and now. The economy is not performing well. People are sustaining their families by way of these projects and this should not be stopped.”