Shop licensing laws need amendments

HARARE - THE Shop Licences Act has been identified as one of the Acts which needs to be revised under the programme of ease of doing business, Parliament heard this week.

Legislators said the Shop Licences Act was crafted in 1976 and the Act was last amended in 1988.

They said the Act is riddled with many unnecessary, outdated and time consuming processes. These cumbersome processes affect the ease of doing business hence the need to have the Act amended.

The proposed amendments will enable local authorities to issue shop licences quickly and efficiently thereby encouraging domestic and foreign investment as well as revenue collection.

The current Act has a provision under Section 14 which makes it mandatory to advertise prior to getting a shop licence. It provides for a minimum of 35 days and a maximum of 56 days.

This is an old colonial relic which has been abandoned the world-over as all it does is to cause delays in the issuance of licences and worsens Zimbabwe’s ranking in the ease of doing business indicators.

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