'Deal with vendors, parking marshals'

HARARE - Harare's business community has urged council to deal with vendors and parking marshals who are slowly driving business out of the city.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Christopher Mugaga told stakeholders during a pre-budget consultative meeting that annually businesses lose $2,5 billion to the informal sector.

“The cost of doing business in Harare has gone up by more than 50 percent because of the informal sector. These people are selling the same wares outside for a fraction of the price and worse still they are not paying any rentals or fees to council.

“Second-hand items or mabhero as they are called take only three days to be imported into the country but for bona fide businesses to import it takes forever. Competing with that can prove to be difficult but ultimately they have to be off the streets,” Mugaga said.

The ZNCC president said council cannot normalise the expansion of the informal sector by bringing it into the central business district.

“We knew Mupedzanhamo flea market to be in Mbare but now it seems it is everywhere. Informal markets are all over the CBD and that should not be tolerated,” Mugaga said.

He added that council should also look into the dividends they get from city parking and whether it is enough.

“From conversations with some parking marshals they claim to collect about $40 000 per month but how much do they collect daily?

“Another issues is that parking in the central business district where most businesses are domiciled is such a menace that if we have foreign visitors it is sometimes difficult to bring them to our offices for fear of harassment by parking marshals,” he said.

Acting town clerk Josephine Ncube, however, said the issue of dividends was before council and they were looking into it.

“We have also been looking into the businesses under Harare Sunshine Holdings particularly City Parking and have proposed a review of their dividend,” she said.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said the issue of vending was out of Harare City Council’s reach as they could not enforce anything.

“This is a national issue unfortunately. But what needs to change is not council but the economy. This is purely an economic problem which we cannot solve alone. Zimbabwe needs to be fixed first before any real solution can be availed,” Manyenyeni said.

Comments (2)

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