Gweru City Council (GCC) has refurbished ablution facilities at Mkoba 6 and Ascot suburbs shopping centres which were no longer usable.
A health hazard was looming at the two busy shopping centres following the closure of the public facilities several months ago.
Users will now have to pay at least $50 to use the refurbished facilities.
Residents commended GCC for rehabilitating the toilets saying the closure had forced hundreds of people who used the shopping centres every day, to relieve themselves in nearby alleys.
The development, residents said, could have resulted in an outbreak of water-borne diseases.
“Vendors and residents have been excreting behind the toilets or in the alleys close by, leaving their waste all over the place and it is very close to where vendors sell their fruits and vegetables, which is now a threat to people’s health especially in this flooding situation,” said Mrs Martha Maphosa at Mkoba 6 shopping centre.
GCC spokesperson Ms Vimbai Chingwaramusee said residents should take responsibility for keeping the public ablutions smart and in good condition.
“As a local authority, we believe our valued residents should make good use of public toilets. However, at the market that we are renovating we are going to have a systematic way of using the toilets so that they can be well maintained,” she said.
Gweru Mayor Councilor Josiah Makombe said the council is in the process of rebranding all of its public ablutions at shopping centres in phases due to limited resources.
He said residents will be engaged in maintenance of the facilities.
“The process of rebranding public facilities is going to be in all major shopping centres in phases due to limited resources. We will make sure that everyone is involved by engaging residents for proper use and management of public facilities through local-based committees that will oversee day to day use of the facilities.
“Ablution facilities have always been there but it was because of vandalism and improper use that led to their present nasty state. We will do campaigns because we don’t want to go down that road again,” he said.