Govt order local authorities to deny foreigners licences

GOVERNMENT has ordered local authorities to stop granting business licences to foreigners interested in sectors reserved for indigenous entrepreneurs.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Mike Bimha

Mike Bimha

Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha told Senate last week that government continues to note with concern the continued issuance of licences to foreigners by local authorities to operate businesses in sectors reserved for locals.

“We agree that we have some foreigners, who come into the country and, instead of going to Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA), they go to local authorities and ask for permission to do some business. The local authorities, because they want money, will allocate these people some businesses, which they have to embark on because they want to benefit through taxes,” he said.

“We are calling for the local authorities to enforce this idea of separation of business industries from those reserved for Zimbabweans and for foreigners.

“When we are talking of reserved areas for indigenous people and foreigners, it really exists, is self-explanatory and very clear. We may have a problem in policing the implementation of it because we have set out some areas, which we have said, these industries can only be operated by people of Zimbabwe such as small industries like the salons and food outlets.”

The reserved sectors include primary production of food and cash crops, transportation business involving passenger buses, taxis and car hire services, hair dressing and beauty salons.

They also include employment agencies, estate agencies, grain milling, tobacco processing, advertising agencies and milk processing.

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