CHIREDZI Town Council chairperson Gibson Hwende has shot down recommendations by the municipality’s management to demolish illegal tuckshops in residential areas and to turn public ablution facilities into pay toilets.
BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
Hwende said it would be insensitive to destroy sources of income for residents given the economic situation in the country.
“We cannot demolish tuckshops because they are a source of living for most people, especially during these difficult economic times,” he said.
Although the town council also recommended that public toilets at old and new bus termini be converted into pay toilets, Hwende said the recommendations were made without considering that public toilets were meant to serve the public.
“The recommendations are not practical because these toilets are meant to serve the public. You can imagine what a visitor or someone who cannot afford to pay for toilet use will end up doing when nature calls. These are just recommendations from committees which we will deliberate upon, but we are definitely not going to adopt them.”
According to a health and housing committee report, tuckshops in the town’s residential areas were operating illegally.
United Chiredzi Residents’ Ratepayers Association secretary-general Bernard Dachi described the council recommendations as a recipe for disaster.
“It will be folly for the town council to recommend the conversion of public toilets into pay toilets, because users will definitely resort to the bush behind the terminus. How can they think people who are failing to use free toilets will be able to pay for the toilets?” Dachi quipped.
“Chiredzi will be sitting on a health time bomb. They should come up with other measures because, as a town, we are afraid of cholera or typhoid outbreaks. On the issue of the dumpsite, they should find an alternative place which is easily accessible before decommissioning the existing one.”
He said the municipality should legalise all tuckshops so that they can pay rates.