Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Only 138 Masvingo businesses licensed with council

Clayton Shereni

City of
Masvingo councillors have fumed at management for failing to enforce the
payment of shop licences by businesses with the city only managing to issue
licences to 138 business since the beginning of the year.

This
came out during a full council meeting held at the Town House on March 29,
2021, where councillors fumed over ‘lack of seriousness’ on the part of the
local authority.

Speaking
during the meeting, Ward 8 councillor, Against Chiteme accused the management
of not enforcing the licensing of business and shop operators for the past
three months.

“You
are not working, I can show you around town there are so many people operating
without licenses and we are now in March. Where do you expect to get revenue
from if you do not enforce a simple process like shop licence?

“There
are a lot of businesses in town that have been operating for the past two years
without licences and we ask how that is possible. What are you doing about
that?

“Since
January you have only managed to licence 138 businesses and you say you are
working hard. I know of a certain complex where more than 10 people use one
license,” said Chiteme.

Chiteme
named the Tsungai complex as one of the premises where there is no compliance
to the law as shop operators are reportedly dodging paying for their 2021
licenses.

Ward 10
councillor Sengerayi Manyanga accused some council bosses, who run businesses
in town, of using their power to avoid paying shop licenses and threatening
council police whenever they approach their premises seeking proof of license.

“We
hear that some council officials are abusing powers. We all own businesses and
we hear reports that some council police officers are turned away when they ask
for licenses. We need the chief of police to report directly to the Acting Town
Clerk and avoid some unnecessary protocols which may even fuel corruption,”
said Manyanga.

In an
interview with TellZim News after the meeting, Deputy Mayor and Ward 6 councillor
Wellington Mahwende called upon the business community to comply with the law
and said that officials should not abuse their social status.

“We
encourage our people to do legal operations so they must come and pay for their
licenses. There are various ways of making them pay including deploying our
security but it’s good to just encourage them to come forward and get licensed.

“Everyone
should pay their licenses regardless of their social status or position in the
society. All businesses should operate and abide by the by-laws of the city,”
said Mahwende.

The
local authority was affected by the Covid-19 induced lockdown and licensing of
shops could have been stalled by the closure of non-essential service providers
who constitute the larger percentage of shop owners in the city.

Corner
shops measuring between 1 to 25 square meters pay between $8 000 and $10 000
per year while those measuring 25 square meters to 100 square meters pay
between $17 000 and $22 000 per year.
 

TellZimNewshttps://tellzim.com
TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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