Council workers make a killing from public toilets

VENDORS and women in Harare have accused council employees of privatising public toilets in the central business district (CBD).

According to the women who spoke to the WeekendPost, all toilets are now charging even some which are supposed to be for free.

According to Harare City Council (HCC) there are 113 public toilets in the city, with 89 toilets in working condition and 23 defective. Of these 21 are in the CBD and five are pay facilities.

One vendor who operates close to the toilet along Leopold Takawira Street, Esther Nhari said cleaners can close the facility and start demanding 25 cents for people to use it.

She said this has caused some to resort to alleyways as the charge will not be part of their budget.

“It is human nature to want to relieve oneself but if a free toilet is now being charged a fee then it is corruption. These council employees now have two salaries — one from their employer and another from toilet takings,” Nhari said.

One of the cleaners said they ended up charging because it was the only way that people would leave the toilets clean.
She said when the toilets were free of charge; residents did not care what state they left them making it a health hazard to others.

“As cleaners we also have rights. People mess up the toilet to the extent that the next person cannot use it. When we come to clean the facilities they will be in a deplorable state. People should just know that everyone’s cleanliness is important, they should not be selfish,” she said.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said he would look into the matter as the personal hygiene of residents was important.
“People need to use these toilets well. Some are not being treated with respect. We will look into the matter to see what is happening,” Chideme said.

Council has been engaging private companies to renovate its old and vandalised toilets as a way of improving services to the city. Last year, HCC engaged a local company Vost to renovate six toilets, while last week Zuva Petroleum renovated ablution facilities in the heavy industrial area. — Helen Kadirire [GoogleAd]

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