MPs raid butchery

MPs raid butchery

MASERU – AN entourage comprising Ministry of Small Business officials and some Members of Parliament (MPs) last week failed to shut down a Chinese-owned meat business which runs a butchery in a dilapidated, unhygienic shack.
The entourage claimed they did not have power to shut down the butchery called H Enterprise Meat Wholesale.
Tsoinyane Rapapa, Ntlhoi Motsamai, Lineo Tlale and Mankoe Maime were part of the delegation that trooped to raid the business but ended up not taking action.

The Deputy Secretary of Meat Traders Association Lesotho ’Maliemiso Rasunyane who also runs the butchery in Maseru said the ministers who were present did not have powers to close the butchery.
Only the Ministries of Trade and Health have powers to shut down the butchery, she said.
Rasunyane said the Ministry of Small Businesses and the MPs were only there to examine the place and to know the source of the butchery’s meat.

They were told that the Chinese slaughter pigs that they keep at their premises.
“The state of the butchery was not good at all,’’ she said.
She said the butchery is close to a grocery shop and a pigsty where pigs, dogs, chicken and other objects are kept.
She said this exposed the local community to the risk of disease outbreaks due to the unhygienic conditions at the premises.
“The state of the butchery is not of standard. The butchery is not in order as you could hardly identify machines which slice meat,” she said.
She said the shack is a single room that does not have enough space to run the butchery.
“This place deserves close down not close up,” Rasunyane said.

Maseru City Council Public Relations Officer (PRO) ’Makatleho Mosala said the ministry was in the dark about the butchery’s operations.
Meanwhile, ’Mateboho Mosebekoa, the PRO for the Ministry of Health said the ministry was not invited for the visit to the butchery.
She said she just saw the information in a WhatsApp group.

Liahelo Nkaota from the Ministry of Trade also said the ministry did not receive any information on the raid.
She said normally, all relevant stakeholders are invited when there are such raids.
Nkaota said the ministry could have taken action against the butchery if it had been informed of the circumstances as well as the delegation’s raid.

The Minister of Small Business Chalane Phori told thepost this week that he was not informed about the raid but he would make a follow up to get full information.
The MPs expelled thepost crew from the scene when it became apparent they had failed to close down the business, claiming that media was not invited.

Refiloe Mpobole

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