The business community in Harare has expressed unhappiness over the shop licences fee hike by the Harare City Council.
A number of small to medium enterprise businesspersons have signed a petition against the increase. Part of the petition reads:
As the business community of Harare guided by the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15), we feel obliged to be consulted on issues of city budgets.
We are guided by Section 86 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which gives us the right to have access to information with regards to our operations.
Currently, we are experiencing deflation as per the Minister of Finance and Economic Development’s economic outlook for 2022.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe auction rate has remained the same for the last three months.
One businesswoman operating hair salons in the capital told H-Metro that her licence fee had gone up from US$400 to US$640.
She said the “unjustified charges” may force small businesses to close shop. Another shop owner said:
It’s an unjustified increase. They want to force all licence holders into vending where corruption is rampant; this is not good at all.
A significant number of shops in Harare’s Central Business District are reportedly operating without licences and some city officials are allegedly taking bribes not to shut them down. | H-Metro