Maputo — The Mozambican government's National Inspectorate of Economic Activities (INAE) ordered the closure of a further four establishments over the past fortnight, for lack of hygiene and for operating illegally, the INAE natonal director of operations, Ali Mussa, told a Maputo press conference on Monday.
Mussa said that 1,042 workplaces across the country had been inspected over the two week period.
The most notorious problems found were at the Bonsuino slaughterhouse and meat processing factory in the southern city of Matola. Meat unfit for human consumption was found on the premises, and television crews filmed the filthy conditions and swarms of flies that characterised the company.
Mussa did not say how much Bonsuino will be fined, but he did say the company will be held criminally responsible for its assault on public health - which implies a court case.
Torre Catering, a company in Maputo, was closed “because it was operating illegally”, said Mussa. “This company was licensed for one activity and it ended up doing something else, without the due licence”. The “Bela Faustino” canteen too was closed for operating illegally and because of “serious problems of hygiene and cleanliness”.
Mussa said that, despite the regular closure of unhygienic and illegal establishment, INAE is still not receiving cooperation from businesses. Some owners of the establishments inspected have been horrified to find that INAE inspectors bring the press. This was notoriously the case with the inspection of Bonsuino, when attempts were made to prevent the press from entering the premises, and the police had to be called before the reporters were allowed in.
The purpose of press coverage, Mussa said, was to transmit the message about the care businesses should take in their activities. “When we involved the press in this exercise”, he said, “our expectation was that this would change the attitude of the business people, but unfortunately there are still economic agents who stubbornly keep their establishments operating without observing conditions of hygiene”.
Where the rules of hygiene and cleanliness were not observed, he stressed, INAE had no option but to close the establishment.
He announced that INAE will soon step up inspections aimed at removing counterfeit goods from the Mozambican market, thus protecting consumers and the producers of the genuine goods that are being copied.