Masvingo City Council’s Health Department is currently investigating a leading retail outlet (name withheld) in the city center on suspicion of preserving its meat products with chemicals used to preserve dead bodies.
The latest development in the country’s first urban settlement comes barely a week after reports in Harare exposed some unscrupulous butcheries who are also using mortuary chemicals to preserve their meat to avoid loses under the ongoing electricity load shedding schedule.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a shortage of electricity for both domestic and industrial usage owed to low water levels at Kariba dam, which has affected the generation of electricity at the country’s main power stations.
Masvingo Acting Chief Environmental Health Officer, Ngonidzashae Mapamula confirmed the development and said his department is seized with the matter after a whistleblower on Friday last week approached his office soon after buying some chicken portions at the outlet.
‘’We cannot say much or which particular chemical was used at the moment as investigations are still going on but our health inspectors visited the premises soon after receiving the complaint from a resident who said they had just bought some chicken cuts at the outlet.
“The argument is that the chicken was not attracting flies after news reports went around discouraging people not to buy meat which does not attract flies”.
“We immediately dispatched a team which has roped in experts from the ministry of health as well as those from the veterinary department and the investigation is still going on, “Mr. Mapamula said.
Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) urged the city fathers to do a thorough investigation on the case to avoid putting residents’ health at risk while calling upon government to fix the power shortages by embracing new forms of clean energy into the national grid.
“This to us is emanating from the power cuts the city is experiencing due to increased load shedding from the national grid.
“We encourage City Council to get to the bottom of this investigation because such substances may be hazardous to residents’ health if people continue consuming meat laced with chemicals.
“As a residents body we call upon government to fix the power shortages in the country by embracing the use of other forms of clean energy into the national grid before the shortages affects health of citizens, “MURRA spokesperson Godfrey Mutimba said.
While the city fathers are yet to conclude their investigations medical experts have warned the public to be on the lookout on where they purchase their meat as products laced with chemicals used to preserve dead bodies can destroy livers.