Charmaine Brown Herald Reporter
Farmers trading at Mbare Musika have lamented lack of service delivery by Harare City Council as uncollected garbage has increased the risk of disease outbreaks.
Speaking to The Herald, the farmers said they now feared for their lives.
Mr Emanuel Gocha, a farmer from Nyanga, said responsible authorities were showing disregard for traders by failing to clean up Mbare Musika.
“The local authorities are very reluctant because they are failing to clean up the largest fresh produce market in Harare,” he said. “This is where some of us trade our produce and some customers will fail to look for produce because of the dirt that is surrounding the market.
“This is unhealthy as it will lead to various diseases such as cholera and there is an urgent need for the local authority to collect refuse everywhere, especially in the market.”
Mrs Tanaka Jani, an orange farmer from Mazowe, complained that the deteriorating standards at Mbare Musika were affecting their business, leading to reduced profits.
“As traders, we call upon the responsible authorities to take into consideration the issue of uncollected garbage because we are losing customers due to the belief that Mbare Musika is associated with dirt and people sometimes end up refusing to buy fruits, saying fresh produce at Mbare is unhealthy,” she said.
Meanwhile, a snap survey of prices offered at the market show that potatoes are now selling at $65 per 25kg and $45 to $50 per 15kg, while butternuts are now pegged at between $40 and $45 for an 8kg pocket.
Last week, potatoes were selling at $55 per 25kg, while butternuts were pegged at between $25 and $28 for 8kg.
Cabbages were largely unchanged at between $2 to $4 per head, while tomatoes are selling for $30 per box, up from $25 per box last week.
Last week, onions sold for $55 for a 10kg pocket, but have since gone up to between $58 and $65 for the same quantity.