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» » » Nemanwa businesses defy council on new shop licence fees

Terrence Ndowora

The Nemamwa business community recently refused to cooperate with a Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC) finance department official who had been sent to them to demand payment of shop licence fees.

The finance department official, who was accompanied by a security detail, went back to his work station empty-handed after business owners turned him away.

“MRDC dispatched Chinyan'anya from Finance Section accompanied by a security officer, only identified as Chauke, to demand payment for shop licence for the current term which ends in June 2021,” said a source.

The business people, however, defied the council representatives saying they will not pay unless council responded to their petition for a downward review of the charges.

“The official was told that a petition which was recently served to council was constitutional and that business owners were justified in expecting a response. Since the petition was served, there hasn’t been any official response by Masvingo Rural District Council.

“When Chinyan'anya was asked about response to the petition, he said he was new in the office and knew nothing about it. We could therefore not entertain him and he went back to his office empty-handed,” said a source.

Another business person at the growth point told TellZim News that business owners were willing to pay the shop license fees as long as council justified the increase from US$24 per term which was paid last year going backwards, to the US$100 per term which council currently demands.

“In the recent past, members of the business community demonstrated at the council offices, and council organised a meeting with Nemamwa Business Management Committee (BMC). The council then promised to deal with the increase in fees and revise it downwards but this was never done,” said the business person.

Others accused Ward 12 Councillor Toddy Nyengerai of making empty promises that he was going to table the issue in council and see to it that the charges are revised downwards.

When contacted for comment, Masvingo RDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Martin Mubviro complained there was no point in business people speaking about their issues to the media, saying they must only follow the internal council mechanisms to get their grievances addressed.

“Nemamwa business people should approach us and see if there’s anything we can do for them. They cannot run to you media people as if we have refused to listen to what they are saying,” said Mubviro.

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