Harare City Council has misfired in its call for the banning of chicken-run projects in a bid to restore order and bring noise levels down in residential areas.
Sunday View with CHRA
Director of Health Services, Prosper Chonzi insisted that council by-laws (1962) have to be respected.
“No poultry house shall be placed nearer than three metres from any boundary or nearer than six metres from premises used for human habitation,” adding, “No person shall keep any poultry by reasons of continued crowing, quacking, clucking, gobbling or like noise tends to destroy the comfort of the neighbourhood.” He said those found on the wrong side of the law would be prosecuted.
However, the move by council has lost traction and moral compass as it fails to conform to the economic order of the day. Mindful of the fact that our economy has become highly informal, characterised by loss of “formal” employment, Zimbabweans have had to become extra innovative in order to meet the economic challenges that they face on a day-to-day basis.
This irresponsible call by council is an act of sabotage not only to the residents, but to the country at large as it pervades community food security initiatives. Residents have been able to augment local meat supply by way of rearing chickens and this has steadied and reduced the price of chicken from $8-$10 to an average of $5-$6.
Apart from our concerns on food security, we are very much cognisant and alive to council’s dire economic situation. To that end, suffice to say that in a country where unemployment levels have hit a shocking 80%, it is these self-help initiatives that have seen residents being able to pay their bills.
Continuing with this policy, council will simply suffocate its own sources of finance because the majority involved in this business will no longer be able to cater for their own bills.
We remain concerned by council’s continued use of colonial by-laws of as late as 1962 when Harare had less than 200 000 people.
Currently, according to the census report of 2012, Harare has a daytime population of 2 098 199. This translates into heavy changes on the socio-economic arrangements and the architecture of the city’s local economic development which is now largely driven by the informal sector.
We need innovative minds that focus on the positive side of things and work in consultation with residents and the civil society in soliciting the views and positions of society on how to make positive influence of the status quo for the benefit of the country.
CHRA reiterates its uttermost disagreement to this policy and is in the process of ensuring that it does not sail through.
CHRA is prepared to mobilise and do everything legal to ensure that people’s livelihoods are not tempered with. We call upon the Mayor of Harare to act swiftly in defence of the people’s rights on this matter.
We are closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds in communities ready to defend the people of Harare.