BY MOSES MATENGA
HARARE City Council is investigating cases of fake business licences being issued in the city amid indications that some council officials were involved in the scam.
The local authority alleged that there were cartels responsible for the issuance of fake shop licences, prejudicing the local authority of thousands of dollars in potential revenue.
Council will soon rope in the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to deal with the fake licence chaos, warning that heads will roll, the audit committee chaired by councillor Ian Makone heard on Tuesday.
“We will seek prompt referral of fake licences to the Zimbabwe Republic Police for investigation. Heads of Department expedite providing Zacc with requisite information,” the council minutes read.
“The Committee noted with concern that 37% of the sample licences submitted for verification were fake which meant council could have been prejudiced of a lot of money. It accordingly felt the need to establish how many shop licences were fake and those which were authentic.
“It further expressed concern on the reported cartel which was purported to be operating with support of some in-house connections. The committee then expressed the need to detect such a cartel by suing the holder of the fake licence who would then assist to identify the originator of such a deal.”
The city is planning to transform shop licence revenue streams into its cash cow and is coming up with broad strategies to maximise revenue collection prospects.
Harare has been hard hit by rampant corruption particularly in areas of revenue collection where some council officials are reportedly pocketing huge amounts of money.