Fake shop licences worry Harare council

HARARE - Harare City Council is worried about the fake business licences that have flooded the city as most shops are not adhering to their agreements with the local authority.

In licensing committee minutes, councillors expressed concern over businesses which do not provide the requisite social amenities such as toilets to their patrons.

The concern comes as an audit conducted last year showed that over 2 000 businesses in the city centre had been operating illegally.

“A discussion on shop licences prompted the committee to express concern over business premises which had licences even though they did not meet the requirements, examples were Joy Centre at Machipisa ...where over 500 people patronised but had just one toilet. Further to that, the bar was being used for strip tease purposes,” reads part of the minutes.

“It was the committee’s view that most businesses had fake licences hence it would be prudent if the relevant licensing officer could put their names on the licences so that it would be easy to verify if it is authentic or not.”

The problems of fake licensing and dubious businesses started after a temporary waiver was gazetted whereby shops were not obliged to advertise their businesses in the local newspapers.

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