stanley mungofa 03.08.10.jpgTuck-shops in downtown Harare face closure as the City Health Department has declared the area a public health threat.

A showdown is looming between the capital’s council and tuck-shop operators in downtown Harare following condemnation of the area by the City Health Department.

The City Health Department officials toured the area and announced that strong measures will be taken in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

City Health Director, Dr Stanley Mungofa said the businesses operating in the area are not licensable as they fail to meet the minimum required standards, hence the decision to close the whole area.

“We have been here investigating the recent reports, but we have realized that this area should be closed,” said Dr Mungofa.

The Chief Environmental Health Inspector, Mr. John Kandwe confirmed that a health hazard is looming in the area because the area is dirty and not fit for business that include the handling of food.

“We cannot have food items being handled in this area and we have declared it a public health nuisance,” Mr. Kandwe.

Meanwhile, the tuck-shop operators who were alleging that officials from the city council were soliciting for bribes confirmed that they have failed to acquire licenses as the area has been condemned.

Shop licenses are issued licenses in terms of the designated local authority regulations.

However, during the years of economic decline, there was an influx of small shops in downtown Harare which do not meet the local authority’s standards.