BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
CONFEDERATION of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president, Denford Mutashu says fights for business control among foreign companies in Zimbabwe was affecting investment prospects in the retail sector.
“It has come to our attention that there is a section of foreign-owned businesses that has since ignored its primary mandate of being business players, but rather political players. Of late there have been reported serious fights among foreign businesses mainly owned by people of East African origin,” Mutashu said in a statement.
“The fight for control of the (retail) business turf has turned out to be vicious in a situation that has the likelihood of affecting potential investment in that sector. All foreign shop owners are, therefore, advised to desist from engaging in nefarious political activities and unnecessary fights which are also tantamount to affecting Zimbabwe’s relations with other countries.”
Mutashu also advised foreigners to refrain from illegal mobilisation of funds towards illegal activities and banditry activities such as persecuting each other on ethnic, religious, political or racial grounds.
Foreign shop owners were urged to respect the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe laws by banking their sales proceeds, paying their employees decent wages and observing all labour laws like proper off days, leave days and holidays, among others.
“Zimbabwe’s tax system must be complied with without fail and payment of taxes remains the fulcrum of responsible citizenship,” Mutashu added.
He also discouraged foreigners from importing smuggled goods and encouraged support for locally made goods.
“CZR is also advising that providing a safe haven for smuggled goods is prohibited and support for locally-manufactured goods is encouraged as this will go a long way in supporting government’s industrialisation agenda,” Mutashu said.
“It is also our fervent hope that all local shopping outlets do not become a front for illegal activities like drugs dealing and money laundering as has been reported of late. All foreign-owned shops should have shop licences and a proper trail for all transactions.”