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Gutu RDC over licensing, killing retail business

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Gutu RDC over licensing, killing retail business

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Mirror Reporter


GUTU – Gutu Rural District Council (RDC) is over-licensing retail shops at business centres dotted throughout the district resulting in too many shops chasing fewer and fewer customers.This was said by stakeholders at a 2024 budget consultative meeting convened by the local authority at Mushayavanhu Shopping Center in Ward 35 yesterday.
CCC Parliamentary candidate for Gutu Central in the recent elections, Matthew Takaona raised the issue. He was supported by Zanu PF Councillor for Ward 35 Benson Kurauone Dandira and Siyano Machaya who is acting Chief Nyamandi.Takaona told the meeting that the various tariffs being charged to shop and bottle store owners were too high considering that these businesses were not making much out of their operations. He said many of them struggle to pay wages of US$60 to their storekeepers.He said retail shops in Gutu were oversubscribed.Dandira buttressed the issue and said the council is issuing too many business licenses at the business centre. He said dozens of business stands are being issued at every business centre in Gutu.“There are too many Indians and few chiefs. The shops are getting more than customers. You are shooting yourselves in the foot because, in the end, the Council itself is failing to get revenue,” said Dandira.
He said tens of new business stands were being issued at every business centre and said in the case of Mushayavanhu the stands stretched into the nearby hills and mountains. He accused the council of making money by selling business stands but in the process killing retailers already in business.Chief Nyamandi said some shops hardly made US$5 revenue per day because there were too many outlets and new business stands continued to sprout.“Now you want these people to pay over US$400 in various levies per year? This is not working and this is why many shops are closing and buildings are collapsing. If you do a survey you will see that most people running these shops are tenants. The owners of the buildings themselves have surrendered because they realize you cannot make money in an environment where everyone is licensed to sell.“I have a small business here and sometimes you cannot even make US$4 a day,” said Chief Nyamandi.Tendai Jebheni (36) who was the CCC candidate for Ward 35 concurred and said she also has a business stand at Mushayavanhu but the low level of business does not inspire her to build a shop there.The meeting was facilitated by Gutu RDC treasurer Tivonge Shumba and he said that the issue of new licenses for retail shops was going to be looked into.Also attending the meeting was Edna Chiseva elected CCC councillor for the women’s quarter and 14 village heads.  

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