Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Tuck shop owners to pay council fees

By Helen Kadirire

The Harare City Council (HCC) plans to enact a new by-law targeted at regulating tuck-shops in residential suburbs, a move that will see the once illegal structures being levied as legitimate businesses.

Tuck shop owners to pay council fees
Tuck shop owners to pay council fees (Picture by NewsDay)

According to HCC’s environmental committee minutes, the desire to craft the by-law was because there had been a gap in regulating the informal shops.

Acting chamber secretary Charles Kandemiiri said the emergence of tuck-shops had been a thorn in the flesh for council in terms of health implications and town planning. 

He said as a result of the lack of regulation, there had been a lot of chaos in the city.

“The law was inspired by the realisation that council was failing to get even a single cent from tuck shop operators yet the operators continue to trade after having been served with enforcement orders.

“Put differently, all tuck shop operations were illegal,” he said.

Kandemiiri said the move will bring in much needed revenue for the city in order to better improve service delivery.

He said among some of the highlights of the tuck-shops by-law was Section 4 which dealt with how operators first had to obtain a town planning licence before operating their business.

Kandemiiri also said the by-law would deal with tuck shop specifications such as smooth plastered floors and walls, and windows — all which had to be inspected and approved by council inspectors.

“Section 5 detailed the scope for the operation of tuck-shops notably the need for a person wishing to operate one to comply with certain requirements first such as not storing flammable substances, sticking to required business operating hours and not selling alcohol,” he said.

Kandemiiri added that offences and penalties would be addressed once the by-law had been approved.

Last year, HCC ordered the demolition of all makeshift structures operating as tuck-shops in Mbare, by their owners.

The local authority’s spokesperson, Michael Chideme, said the directive was not only effective in Mbare, but all other suburbs in order for them to preserve their wares and building materials as they make proper planning arrangements with regard to their business structures.

“There was consensus that disorder should be nipped and that all makeshift structures at the bus rank and in the residential area should be removed,” Chideme said. Daily News