By Itai Muzondo
In a sudden turn of events, the newly appointed Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Shuvai Mahofa has won the battle over the reduction of vendors' daily tax charged by the Masvingo City Council at Chitima flea market.
Following demonstrations by Masvingo Residents Trust (MRT) over high tax which was being charged, Mahofa took the opportunity and joined the campaign to lower the charges from $2 to $1 last week. However, her campaign met stiff resistance from councillors who claimed that they were not able to cut the tax over night.
Humbled ….. Masvingo Mayor Hubert Fidze
When it was almost obvious that Mahofa had lost the battle, she engaged Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Ignatious Chombo over the issue. Chombo swiftly moved in and gave a directive that they reduce the tax to a dollar with immediate effect.
A source from Masvingo City Council said Chombo demanded that they (council) give in Mahofa’s order which they have since done with effect from March 30 2015.
“Council should obey Mahofa’s instruction because two dollars as levy on a market that houses 1 200 vendors with no considerable development seen to benefit the stallholders,” said the source who refused to be named.
Masvingo Mayor, Hubert Fidze confirmed the development but expressed concern saying it would slow progress at the market because the reduction of revenue affects the annual budget.
"It is true we have reduced vendor levy at Chitima to one dollar. This will, however, not stop our proposed developments as we wish to complete the toilets and add extra stalls to make them 2000 but it will be slowed due to reduced revenue. The condensed revenue simply means our annual budget has been affected," said Fidze.
Fruit and vegetables Chairperson at Chitima market, Tarisai Katini was not available for comment by time of publication.local