BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
THE Harare Metropolitan province yesterday announced plans to set up a taskforce targeting space barons and businesses operating without permits.
The taskforce will comprise the police, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, National Social Security Authority, Environmental Management Agency, the provincial medical directorate, City of Harare, Chitungwiza Municipality, Ruwa Local Board and the Epworth Local Board.
“Non-compliant businesses are encouraged to regularise their operations within the next 14 days in order to avoid being shut down, fined and prosecuted where such applies. It is important to note that Harare Metropolitan province has a zero tolerance policy on corruption and lawlessness,” a statement by Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti, read.
“For some time, there has been a public outcry on the continued hijacking of council markets by criminals abusing political parties’ affiliation and name dropping. We estimate that in excess of US$250 000 a day is being collected from desperate vendors and traders by these criminal syndicates commonly referred to as space barons. Places such as the recently invaded Urban Renewal Project land in Mbare, Mupedzanhamo, Mbare Musika, CocaCola Market, Glen View Home Industries, Jambanja and several open markets are now being controlled by space barons.”
Muguti said Harare had also seen an increase in businesses operating without council or government permits.
“These include retail stores, bottle stores, nightclubs, lodges, hair salons, car sales, restaurants and companies in offices,” he added.
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