HARARE – Municipality of Kariba has advised its business community to renew their 2018 operating licences or risk closure.
This comes as the resort town’s local authority had earlier warned businesses in December last year to approach the council offices and pay up.
“Your current business licence expires on or before December 31, 2017. To comply with the provisions of the Shop Licences Act Chapter 14:17, you should renew your licence on or before the 31st. Failure to comply will attract a non-compliance fee and possible closure of business operations,” read part of the notice.
While giving evidence to the portfolio committee on Local Government, the ministry’s legal advisor Leah Chimoga said municipal police would have the sole responsibility of policing for shop licences.
Next week the parliamentary committee will be conducting public hearings across the country to solicit views on the Shop Licences Amendment Bill.
The ministry was amending the Shop Licences Amendment Bill with the view of removing the responsibility of going after unlicensed shops from the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
Among some of the amendments was the duration of a shop licence, exemptions from getting a shop licence, police interference and duration of acquiring a shop licence.
“The police will no longer have any mandate to go and inspect if shops have licences or not. The responsibility will lie solely with municipal police,” Chimoga said.
She said this will ensure that if a licence holder is to be fined, the payment would go to the local authority instead of the State.
In 2016 shop owners were exempt from advertising their licences after a directive was given by former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
The notice which was gazetted on March 25, 2016 meant that shop owners were no longer obligated to notify the public of their licence to trade.
“It is hereby notified that, in terms of section 6 of the Shop Licences Act (Chapter 14:17), the minister has, from the date of publication of this notice, exempted all applicants for new shop licences, and areas zoned for shops in terms of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act (Chapter 29:12), from the requirement to advertise in terms of section 14 of the Shop Licences Act (Chapter 14:17), until further notice,” read the notice.