MASVINGO— Business people around Nemamwa Growth Point have confronted Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC) over shop licence hike from US$24 to US$100 per term saying the move was arbitrary and counterproductive.
The business people today (March 29) besieged the council offices at Nemamwa demanding justification on the increments with some saying the council has failed to deal with illegal vendors who have taken over the growth point yet they do not pay any licences.
A business person who runs a grocery store at the growth point said he was unhappy with the way the council was letting illegal vendors sprout at the growth point taking away all the customers yet they shoulder no costs.
“How could you just wake up saying shop licences are now US$100 from US$24? This is madness and we have gone to the council to demonstrate our anger and frustrations.
“The council has completely failed to deal with illegal vendors who sell everything on the streets and yet they do not pay any costs.
“These vendors sometimes camp on out shop entrances selling the same products we have inside and in the end no one will buy from us. We have pleaded with council to address this issue but they have remained in the terraces.
“Even those who operate bottle stores, there are a lot of shabeens and illegal liquor points in the residential areas yet the council does nothing,” said one business person.
Masvingo RDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Martin Mubviro told TellZim News that he was out of office when the business people demonstrated at the council offices but said he was briefed and called on business people to find less confrontational methods of engagement.
“I am out of office but I have been told about the demonstration. These people need help and most of them seem not to understand what is going on.
“You don’t just wake up angry and say you want to vent that anger on the council. People should find less confrontational means of engagement.
“Demonstrations will not bring the intended results. Dialogue is the only way out of this and the business people have to come to negotiating table with their demands and we discuss.
“You cannot start with demonstrations as if we have refused them and ear,” said Mubviro.