THE Mutare City Council has warned unlicensed business operators to renew their licences or face the full wrath of the law as the Manicaland provincial capital battles proliferation of unregulated businesses.
In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Mutare spokesperson Spren Mutiwi said: “The City of Mutare wishes to remind all business players to renew their 2024 business licenses. Be compliant and observe the laws and by-laws to avoid any unnecessary inconveniences.
“Kindly note that business licence fees should be paid in full and operating without a business license is an offence.”
NewsDay understands that a large number of businesses in the city have not renewed their licences over the years, prejudicing the local authority of millions of dollars.
Investigations by this publication have also revealed that there was rampant corruption in the handling of council licences with some unscrupulous employees and business operators conniving to prejudice the local authority.
Some licence payments have never been paid into council’s accounts, but paid directly to some employees who have formed fraudulent syndicates.
The Mutare City Council acting town clerk, Blessing Chafesuka said council was intensifying strategies to fight corruption head-on.
“Mutare City Council has embarked on strategies to reduce corruption activities to acceptable levels. We have set up a budget committee that is made up of the different key stakeholders that is helping in monitoring and crafting council operational processes,” Chafesuka said.
Council has also formulated an internal Integrity Committee which monitors the behaviour of its employees. The committee was recently trained by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on dealing with corruption.
“As council we have digitised our operations. We have put in place the Local Authority Digital System … The system will control loses and enhances the chances of more revenue collection. It reduces corruption and promotes accountability,” he added.