Katete council, butchery owners in wrangle

A critical shortage of beef is likely to hit Katete District following a stand -off between Katete Town Council and Butchery owners on the use of a new abattoir that belongs to a Cooperative society.
Panic gripped the hilly town the morning of 29th June 2020 as all butcheries were stuck with carcasses of meat that were marooned in the butcheries as local authority health inspectors refused to certify the meat alleging that the District Commissioner Joseph Duma Makukula had directed them not to certify any carcass that were not slaughtered from the new abattoir.
A few weeks ago, Katete Town Council directed that there would be no slaughter of animals from any other abattoir in the district from the 29th of June 2020 except from Yalela Co-operative Society abattoir which is situated about 7 kilometers from Katete main business district. Katete Town Council claims that the abattoirs Butchery owners have operated are illegal yet they have been collecting K30 slaughter fee daily from over 13 butcheries. This technically makes the Council part of the illegal activity.
However Butchery owners have contended that the move does not make business sense as it is likely to raise the costs of doing business. They argue that the decision has also been ill timed as it is being implemented at a time that most sectors of the economy are critically hit with the effects of COVID 19 restrictions.
Butchery Owners have also questioned the decision to favour one abattoir in the district as it gives the Cooperative Society undue business advantage. They have also refused to be cowed to join the cooperative society as it was set up by people who do not even own butcheries and are bent on serving their own selfish business interests and not those of the Butchery owners.
It has also come to light that Katete District Commissioner is a member and Treasurer of the Yalela Co-operative Society and has been pushing the local authority to close all other private abattoirs in the district in order operationalize Yalela Abattoir so as to enable them make money.
At a meeting held yesterday, Katete Town Council, Yalela Cooperative and Butchery Owners could not reach a conclusion as a number of issues that were raised still remain unresolved. Among other issues that Butchery owners cited in the meeting were that this move will result in job loss of the 5 -6 people that are employed by each of the over 13 butcheries in the district. They also contend that joining a cooperative should be voluntary and should not be forced on would be members.
But Katete Town Council and District Administration say their directive is not negotiable. This has not sat well with Butchery Owners who have vowed not to shift to the new site and directed members not to slaughter of animals until the issues raised are resolved.

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