Rats ‘occupy’ Chipiku, shop risks closure

Chipiku Plus Stores at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre risks being closed over rat invasion and poor sanitation and hygiene.

Rats on shelves in Chipuku

Rats on shelves in Chipuku

Rats in Chipiku Plus shop

Rats in Chipiku Plus shop

The shop is infested with rodents and the owners have been using poison and cats to get rid of the rants, an act which may result in food contamination thereby putting lives of consumers at risk.

And Blantyre City Council (BCC) has issued out a Statutory Notice warning the shop owners to rectify the situation or face closure within seven days.

According to the notice which Nyasa Times has seen, BCC has warned the shop owners of contravening the Public Health and the Council’s By-Laws for, among others, failing to institute proper pest control measures and failing to maintain high sanitation and hygiene standards.

The shop has also been accused of failing to provide lockers to its staff in the changing rooms, providing rat poison in the shop thereby causing risk of food contamination and for keeping live animals (cats)
in the food store.

Reads the Statutory Notice in part: ”You are to satifactorily rectify the contraventions of the legislation as stated above within seven days (7) working days upon receipt of this letter.”

According to the Notice, Chipiku Plus Shop has been ordered to install self closing door to all access to the bulk store, institute proper packing and shelving of goods in the bulk store and engage professional pest control to de rat and rat proof the premises.

”No live animal should be seen in the food store, provide proper change room for your staff, institute good house keeping procedures in and around the premises. Clean up the place to remove rat droppings, odour and markings and redecorate the premises,” orders the Notice.

BCC has since warned that it will close the shop and take legal action if the owners are not seriousness to address the situation.

The Chipiku Plus shop owners declined to be interviewed, however, they told BCC inspection team that they were not aware that keeping cats or using rat poison in food shops was illegal.

Meanwhile, the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has also condemned the shop owners of failing to adhere to set standards of shop management, sanitation and hygiene.

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35 thoughts on “Rats ‘occupy’ Chipiku, shop risks closure”

  1. Concerned customer says:

    Happy customer

    I did not comment about the rat on the photo whether it was put there as a photo op or not. I am talking about what i saw…a rat in their shop. Whether that one on the photo was placed or not i don’t know. But I’ve seen rats in Chipiku not hearsay. And I’ve returned rotten goods several times.
    If I’ve seen the rats surely they too have seen them their comment to me is lame.They should address the problem in a manner that’s not a health hazard FULL STOP!

    And…Good for you that the mediocre services makes you a happy customer…carry on… Malawi @51 accepting poor Services. As for me I’ll speak up.

  2. Happy Customer says:

    @concerned customer

    Please be serious, read what management said. They didn’t say anything about rat poison or cats, that’s what the article said. I don’t want to jump to conclusions but why would a rat be sitting there, waiting for someone to take a photo?

    Someone is trying to frame these guys, as far as I’m concerned chipiku is the cleanest shop in town, much much better than shoprite and especially better than people’s!

    People need to be more serious, think for yourself. This is nonsense.

  3. Concerned customer says:

    @Chipiku management

    It is very unfortunate that you are attacking the kind of journalism instead of either keeping quiet and address the problem or argue on the basis of the accusation herein.

    It is a fact that there are rats in your shop. I saw this a few weeks ago as i was grocery shopping and gasped..another customer saw it and also my reaction and shook his head. To be honest it is not a lie that there is this problem that you have to sort out.

    Next is the issue that keeping cats and using rat poison is not illegal.. Well if it is legal, by just using your common sense is this right?

    Lastly, please be serious with checking expiry dates of your products so they don’t end up in our shopping baskets.

  4. Tengupenya says:

    this is for immediate suspension of sales…..

  5. Deport them makamaka operation mananger wa southern religion sajan siraj ndi mbuli sadziwa chilichonse komaso pa salary yake sapeleka msonkho ndikanakhala ndi futi ndi kanamuombela

  6. chitenje says:

    Paja amwenye nde akunjoya mdziko muno no wonder mma prison athu mulibe mwenye olo mmodzi. Shop imeneyi akanakhala ndi ya mMalawi, kalekale itatsekedwa.

    very unfortunate


  8. Ndilibe jelasi ine says:

    If the description of the health related problems is right, then BCC should have just closed down the place right away. Until the corrective measures are put in place, and the problems are gone. Keeping the place open, meanwhile, is stupid and only endangers the shopping public. Unacceptable!
    What health officer at BCC would make this kind of decision, opanda kudyesedwa mabanzi (without being corrupted)?

  9. ANALYST says:

    Chipiku kuli amwenye amwanao, makamaka Operations Manager wa Central Region Shaikh Ahmed, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!

  10. chithope says:

    Amenewa ndi ma china uve too much muzipitatu musamale

  11. Cecilia Mapila says:

    It is just unfortunate for this particular store, Chipiku Stores are amongst the best in terms of hygiene and product display and customer service in the country, much better than Peoples’. Am sure management will curb this soonest possible.

  12. Shaa, mpakana rat poison and cats to kill rodents in a shop. And the owners have the cheek to say they did not know that this contravenes the law. How did they have the business licenced if they were ignorant of the relevant laws relating to the business?

    Taking of rats, I remember a few years ago seeing very fat rats in the Sportsman’s Bar at Mount Soche Hotel. I initially thought that the drink was beginning to have an effect on me when I saw something moving up the wall. I later vividly saw the huge rat coming down and later going up and down again. I hope hotel management has addressed this by now, I have not been to that place for a while

  13. myao says:

    Next thing this will be Beam Superette or Galaxy Textile Centre kkkk

  14. waselo says:

    Chipiku is not alone. Go to Peoples Shops in Blantyre and Lilongwe. Rats, cockroaches and flies. Koma kudulisa zinthu basi. PTC inali kale ili under Kamuzu pano ndo mbola.

  15. ZOZO says:

    indians are dirty and they stink too much




    Ndiyo zimenezo kwacha yavuta

  17. Chipiku Management says:

    This is journalism of the lowest order. We believe that the dead or nearly dead “rat” was placed on the shelf and a photo taken. Rats do not pose for photographs. We were approached for comment six weeks ago by the person involved from M.I.J. radio and we refused to pursue as we did not believe that it was genuine. They then proceeded to make a radio story at the time.
    With regard to a Blantyre City Council letter the first time that we knew such a letter existed was yesterday when M.I.J. radio aired a story and we then proceeded to collect the quoted letter from BCC the same day. This story is totally mischievous and the motives behind it are unclear. We do not believe Nyasa Times should post stories with dubious motives.
    The Chipiku Plus Blantyre store continues to take market share due to its diverse good value product offering and this is perhaps the reason for the story.

  18. Mlauzi says:

    Indeed Chipiku is an Indian owned shop. Initially Chipiku was owned by Import and Export Company Limited and it was a great company during Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda`s reign. After the liquidation of Import and Export amwenyewa anagula zimenezi at a song from the corrupt UDF government with its flawed privatization programme.

    Atidyetsa za uve amenewa. Bibi ya a mphaka, termic, rat poison. They should not only be closed. They should also compensate all patrons who have bought food items from Chipiku. Ma Lawyer athu okondeka, nkhanitu yotentha iyi. Itanitsani ma receipts kwa anthu onse omwe anagulapo zakudya mu Chipiku. Anthu akungotsegula m`mimba zosadziwika bwino. Mwina ndi zakudya za uve za amwenyewa.

  19. Galu Wa Mchombo says:

    Lets not make this an “Indian problem”, its a general problem in Malawi. Our very own People’s shops are just as pathetic. They smell like rat crap and urine. You can’t buy anything on the shelf at People’s without disinfecting it first and the same applies for Sana. There is a lack of seriousness when it comes to hygiene in this country. Consumers are taken for granted and the same authorities who also shop in these same retail outlets are sleeping on their jobs. Its the same attitude that applies to most of us Malawians. We accept mediocre services and the more we keep quiet the more we will continue to receive such. As consumers we also have rights to take these people to task and only then will they wake up.

  20. ... says:

    That’s typical of Amwenye.
    Close it.

  21. Brazilian wax says:

    Amwenye ndi aumve.

  22. Mdubs says:

    Just invite ten chewas to stay in shop for two days and you will see all rats will be gone.

  23. sikusinja says:

    The shop should have been closed for the 7 days and on the 7 day BCC inspect if problem has been solved. This is ridiculous.

  24. rewlayi says:

    Chipiku is only good for toiletries but everything else stinks especially the one in Lilongwe umve uli thoo amwenye amenewa kuzunza ma staff mkati mwake please close all their shops until pawoneke high standards.

  25. i miss kamuzu says:

    a peoples nawonso amasungila amphaka m’ma shop, but amwenye amanyanya kulavulila palipoonse, kuchotsa ujeni ndi manja etc….yuck!

  26. vwapuvwapu says:

    why rats is chipiku ? maybe they are on wholesale?kkkkk

  27. Mphepo Zinai says:

    Amwenye ndi choncho. One other thing is that they never care about what they make or sell. Be careful , you could be eating substandard or poisonous things from Indian Shops.

  28. Long Dick says:

    INDIANS and HYGIENE are parallel! Just check Limbe!

  29. MANDA AMBUZI says:

    Its not only Chipiku plus ,Please BCC visit suncrest factory , you will not like to have their milk anymore. The moment you reach the sale office you will be greeted by smell as if the you are at mtaya. Please do something to protect Malawians

  30. matako a pusi says:

    This is out of civilization and below the expectations from a reputable shop like chipiku. Izi zimaenela kuchiyika to small shops timaokala tamu kawale lunzu zolozolo not chipiku basi my next shopping will be at game shoprit or foodzone agalu anebewa akutigulitsa yansi shpiti zanu thank to the Blantyre city council for taking action

    1. Trad says:

      pa foodzone pokhapo ndiyetu mwanama. Fungo limatuluka mu foodzone eish. Ka shop ka mdima kosalongosoka ngati kamene kaja sindinaziwonenso

  31. mapapaya says:

    kkkkkkkkkkkkkk ati sadziwa kuti kusunga mphaka komanso poison pamodzi ndi zakudya ndi kulakwira malamulo a za ukhondo kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  32. Shocked says:

    A notice?????
    CLOSE the damn shop they used rat poison and this might have affected the food… And when someone eats the food do you think he/she will be given 7days notice to get rid of poison in his/her body?????

  33. The real ujeni says:

    this must be an indian owned shop. Indians are just too dirty, go to India and see the dirty , cattle, dogs, flies, mixing with people right in city centres, without an control. Its unbelievable for someone to say having cats, rats, and rat poison is not a health hazard. These people don’t adhere to health and safety regulations. City Council should close the premise. One would be lucky to find an indian shop or company that is clean inside and surrounding area.

    1. Souja says:

      @ no1,u r right dude they are indians,they are very untidy people, amangotinunkhitsa ndi dziutsi kubisa fungo ndi ndi umve wawo

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