Hotel operators in Jinja municipality have resorted to suppliers of cheap but uninspected meat, a mean survey conducted by Uganda Radio Network has revealed. A number of hotel and restaurant managers interviewed by our reporter confirm buying their meat from private butchers to cut down on their expenditure. Godfrey Egesa, the General Manager Travel Hotel claims that private butchers supply quality meat at a lower price compared to Jinja abattoir.
Private butchers charge 7200 shillings for a kilogram of meat with bones, the same goes for 8000 shillings at Jinja abattoir. The abattoir charges shillings 9000 for boneless meat, while the private butchers charge 1000 shillings less. Egesa says that they can consider buying meat from the abattoir once the management offers them a suitable price.
Miriam Namutosi, the Principal The Hotel and Tourism Training Institute in Jinja – Crested Crane Hotel says despite the fact that they buy their meat from private butchers, it is safe for human consumption.
David Kyasanku, the Jinja municipal Council Town Clerk says that they have received reports from the abattoir showing that all major hotels and restaurants buy meat from private suppliers. He appeals to the hotel owners to source their meat from the abattoir because it is the only place with facilities for managing public slaughter.
Dr. Stephen Senyonjo, a public Health Specialist says it is totally unacceptable for humans to consume uninspected meat saying it breaches the health food safety standards. He explains that consuming uninspected meat exposes humans to diseases such as Brucellosis, Bovine tuberculosis, Anthrax, toxoplasmosis and Hydatid. Frank Naluswa, the Chairman Jinja Abattoir Traders Association blames Jinja municipal council for failing to enforce the meat inspection standards. He says that private butchers shy away from the abattoir to avoid transport and operational costs.
Butchers operating in the abattoir pay shillings 7000 for slaughtering and inspection fees. Mohammed Bogere, a member of Jinja Cattle Traders and Butcher Association says there is laxity in certification by the municipal council. He says while he sells a kilogram of meat at 8000 shillings, the same costs 5000 shillings in the out skirts of Jinja municipality such as Mpumudde, Walukuba, Masese and Kimaka. He says some of the animals die during transportation but the private butchers offer their meat to members of the public for consumption.