Lesaffre Zimbabwe (Formerly known as Anchor Yeast) says it is not responsible for the poisoning of fish at its Geluk Farm dam in Gweru which triggered a health scare in the city.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
This follows reports and social media messages claiming the company has been left counting loses after its supplying dam for fish in Gweru was poisoned with great fear that some unscrupulous personnel sneak the poisoned white meat into the black market.
Lesaffre owns a farm in Gweru where the dam in discussion is located. The company was alleged to have been dumping its waste into their own dam.
The company’s Gweru unit general manager Mr Munyaradzi Mutsvairo argued they are not responsible.
“Lesaffre Zimbabwe is our company,the farm is Geluk Farm Dam. We produce non toxic yeast effluent that we actually apply to our high tech farm as liquid organic fertilizer. The effluent could not even possibly enter the dam in the event of a leak because the dam is located upstream from the effluent pipeline,” he said.
Mr Mutsvairo also said it was irrational for the company to release the so-called toxic substances into their dam knowing well it’s used for various purposes.
“It’s an unfounded claim that we put toxins in our dam. Our cattle also drink from that same source making this unsubstantial for we wouldn’t want to expose them (cattle) to toxins.
“Our yeast effluent is non-toxic and was tested by EMA,” he said.
He acknowledged that the event happened. Lesaffre called the relevant authorities to access the situation.
“Indeed the fish died which saw us calling the Environmental Management Agency, National Parks and the Gweru Health City Department to analyse the situation. They took the samples of the fish and water for testing with Government analysts and we are yet to hear their findings,” he said.
While waiting for the results from Government analysts, the company suspects unscrupulous members of a co-operative which does fish farming in their dam.
“Its too early to pin point anyone to be responsible for this but we suspect that it might be some members of some co-operatives who come and fish in the dam. They might be responsible for poisoning the fish,” said Mr Mutsvairo.
Gweru City officials allayed fears that none of the poisoned fish had found its way on the market, but however warned public from purchasing fish from the black market.
“EMA, National Parks and City Health visited the area and took samples of both the fish and the water to be submitted to the Government Analysts for analysis. Lets discourage the public from buying food sold from the streets,”a Gweru council official who refused to be named was quoted as saying.
Efforts to get comment from EMA Spokesperson Mr Steady KAngata were futile as his mobile was unreachable.