Chicken vendors ‘ruffled’ in Harare


Residents of Harare are on a collision course with City authorities over chicken.

For years, backyard poultry projects have been a source of much needed extra income for citizens, but those chicken farms have now been banned.

1962 regulations, which outlawed, backyard chicken rearing because the clucking, crowing, quacking and gobbling of poultry disturbed the peace, is now threatening to disturb the livelihoods of thousands in Zimbabwe’s capital.

Traders at Mbare Musika, the busiest chicken market say the ban goes against the government economic recovery plans which seek to empower ordinary citizens by allowing them to start up their own businesses.

Sylvia Makina a Chicken trader says, selling Chicken is a source of income for them and the only way  they can feed their families in these hard times. She adds that if the old laws are enforced these old laws many children will go hungry.

The city though insists it is not a blanket ban. The City health director Cladius Chonzi insists that there are certain conditions that one has to meet before they can rear chickens. ”When you make the extra dollar you must not unnecessarily inconvenience your neighbor,” adds Chonzi.

The city health departments directive means , there should be no flies, smells or rodents and other vermin which usually accompany chicken projects.

But it’s not just these feathered creatures that are under threat.

The city is also planning a clamp down on the estimated 20,000 vendors selling their wares on the streets. Their number grows by the day as more people lose their jobs and are forced out onto the streets. Some describe them as an eyesore and a health risk while others believe instead of pushing them out the city should find a way to accommodate them since they serve a business need.

Analysts say, there’s need for change in laws to enable business people world in people friendly environment.