MESERANI Livestock Auction Market in Monduli, Arusha region has been closed down indefinitely as a measure to control spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
Livestock market stakeholders arrived in huge numbers at the main livestock market in the district, some to buy and other for selling purposes, only to be interrupted by police officers, who declared that no more livestock auction would be taking place in Monduli.
Monduli District authorities took the move as a means to ensure that the district that so far has not registered any case of Covid-19 disease remains free of it.
The auction always attracts huge number of people – over 1,000 per day – from within and outside the district.
The decision was reached by Monduli District Defence and Security Committee under the District Commissioner (DC), Mr Iddy Kimanta said yesterday that the verdict was arrived at due to the fact that the government has banned mass gatherings as they are partly a means for Covid-19 patients to infect others.
He was of the opinion that the market attracts cattle sellers and buyers, traders in other business – especially services such as food, drinks and other goods, hence those who attend the same are vulnerable to the deadly disease that started in Wuhan, where China is due to lift the lockdown after successful efforts to fight the virus.
Monduli, located at the northeastern section of the country is bordered to the north by Longido District, the latter bordering Kenya. Most of Longido residents are livestock keepers.
The population is estimated at 185,237. DC Kimanta said everybody is duty-bound to safeguard themselves, their families and the public as a whole.
“I have officially banned auction activities and all mass gathering from now in Monduli District until further notice. The decision comes from the District Defence and Security Committee,” said DC Kimanta who doubles as chairman of the committee.
Many livestock traders did not take kindly the decision, were astonished and saddened that they were not given notice, so that were shocked when they arrived, some to buy while others were selling, having come from far-off areas.
Speaking on behalf of others, Mr Andaskoi Saluni and Zacharia Mollel claimed that the action taken by district authorities was not fair.
They said what they know is that President John Magufuli said on Sunday that people should carry on with economic activities but cautiously.
Mr Andaskoi said he is encountering a huge loss as he had transported his cows to the market and has to take them back home at his own cost.
He said he is perplexed and does not know how he will be making both ends meet for the unknown period the market is closed.
Mr Mollel said he was to purchase five cows for slaughtering but he failed as a big number of police officers hindered him and others to make business to support their families.