Chipinge business cry foul over shop licence fees hike

By ZBC Reporter
THE CHIPINGE business community has raised concern over the town council’s decision to hike shop licence rates by over 400 percent.
The business community in Chipinge is not happy over the new shop licence fees after an increase of 400 percent.
A survey by the ZBC News revealed that the majority are not happy that the shop licence fee hike has come at a time when there is a growing number of informal traders who are selling similar products right in front of their shops.
“Licences were hiked by over 400% percent and we honestly don’t know where to get that money,” said one shop tenant.
“We have a situation where vendors sell the same products directly outside our shop so the operating environment is not even. Council should revise these fees,” said another.
Chairperson of the Chipinge Business Community, James Gabaza says fees were hiked without proper engagement with all stakeholders.
“We held a meeting with the council over shop licences but we were shocked to discover that fees were hiked without our consultations. Generally, business is down so it is difficult for business operators to keep at tabs with the councils’ demands,” said Gabaza.
Chipinge Town Council Chairperson, Mr Zivanai Nyakuchena however justified the newly gazetted fees.
“We are open to payment arrangements with our clients. That increase is meant to keep up with effective service delivery and is also subject to the interbank exchange rate,” said Nyakuchena.
The latest development is a sign that there is need for a proper consultative process which involves all stakeholders amid complaints by the business community that the licence fees should be commensurate with the services rendered.