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Food control in Zimbabwe: A situational analysis

Pswarayi, Felicitas, Mutukumira, Anthony N., Chipurura, Batsirai, Gabi, Benson, Jukes, David J.
Food control 2014 v.46 pp. 143-151
food availability, food chain, food law, food safety, Zimbabwe
The food control and regulatory system in Zimbabwe is beset by many challenges. The system is fragmented and consists of many entities in the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and in local authorities. There are no clear mechanisms to coordinate the activities of these different entities and, in practice, they act independently except in times of a national food safety challenge. This, therefore, makes it difficult to ensure food safety throughout the food chain. Lack of the requisite resources is a major contributory factor to weaknesses in the food control system. In view of the food safety challenges in Zimbabwe, the food control system in the country is currently being reviewed. This paper describes and compares the current system with the proposed food control system as outlined in the draft Food Control Bill 2011. Particular attention is given to the establishment and functions of a Food Control Authority of Zimbabwe which will replace the existing State authorities in the control and regulation of food. The proposed Food Control Bill 2011 has provisions for a coordinated approach to food safety which would strengthen and improve food regulation in Zimbabwe. It includes proposals to bring together all inspection and analytical services under the supervision of one organisation. However the priority given to enhancing the overall supply of food and the lack of resources to develop a modern food control system is leading to continuing delays in implementing an enhanced food control system for food safety and quality.