Visually impaired entrepreneur appeals for help

A VISUALLY impaired Bulawayo entrepreneur, John Jemwa, who recently got an offer letter from council for a stand to do his popcorn-making business is appealing for close to $800 to meet council service costs.

BY SILAS NKALA

The money is also meant for advertising his business so that he may get the licence to operate within Bulawayo City Council’s jurisdiction.

The appeal came after Jemwa got a popcorn-making machine donation from Edgars Stores (Pvt) Limited, recently.

Yesterday, Jemwa said despite his business potential to generate huge income, he was failing to meet statutory requirements to start his business.

“I am visually impaired and I represent the disabled people,” Jemwa said.

“I have a challenge in raising the money needed by the council to start my business. I do not want to be a dependent, but work for myself and my family, but for my popcorn business to start, council is demanding a list of payments which I am not yet able to meet.”

On May 14 this year, the council wrote to Jemwa advising him of the financial requirements for his business to be approved and licenced.

“The stand shall be used for marking and retailing fresh popcorn only. A monthly rental of $80, excluding Vat shall be paid, subject to review at the pleasure of the council. The lease shall be on a month to month basis,” part of the council letter read.

“A shop licence to be obtained from the health services department prior to operations. All costs related to the lease of the stand to be borne by yourself. Advertising fees amounting to $98 shall be borne by yourself. An amount of $115 for the lease preparation shall be paid on Vote number 0515-50425,”

The council advised him that should he accept the offer, which is valid for one month from the date of the issuance, he must send them an acceptance letter in writing, together with a receipt showing payment of $13, being administration fees to be paid at Revenue Hall.

On May 30, the council also wrote to Jemwa, advising him that the application and inspection for shop 55,8 square metre is $136,45 and advertising fee $50, indicating that he must advertise before a licence could be issued to him.

“Temporal licence fees are $35, valid for three months and full licence fee is $179,40 annually. Also note, that you will be required to register with Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and get an ITF 263 tax clearance before a licence is issued to you,” reads the letter in part.

Jemwa said the demands were beyond his ability, considering his condition though he wanted to be self-sustaining through the project.

He said well-wishers could contact him on 0773661922.

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