Home » Governance » Chombo Orders Masvingo Tax Reduction

LOCAL government minister Ignatius Chombo has ordered the Masvingo City Council to reduce vendors’ daily tax at the city’s main market centre after disturbances rocked the area last week.

Following demonstrations by the vendors over high tax last week, Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Shuvai Mahofa threw her weight behind the vendors demanding that the council should lower the charges from $2 to $1 a day.

However, her campaign met with stiff resistance from councillors who said they were unable to oblige citing viability challenges since the local authority regarded the Chitima market as its major cash cow.

Sources said Mahofa then approached her local government colleague who has since ordered the local authority to reduce the tax.

According to sources, Chombo’s directive is with effect from March 30, 2015.

A council employee said they were also ordered to craft by-laws which promoted informal trading in the city.

“A directive has come from above and there is nothing the councillors can do now council has been milking the vendors for a while now with no meaningful development taking place at the market center,” said the council employee.

Sources said council was raking in a cool $124 000 monthly in taxes from the 2000 vendors operating at Chitima market, but still the area remains under developed with no proper ablution facilities to cater for both buyers and vendors.

Mayor, Hubert Fidze, confirmed the development but expressed concern saying it would affect the local authority’s annual revenue inflow and naturally slow down progress at the market.

“It is true we have reduced vendor levy at Chitima to one dollar,” he said.

“This will, however, not stop our proposed developments as we wish to complete the toilets and add extra stalls to make them surpass 2000 but it will be slowed due to reduced revenue.

“The condensed revenue simply means our annual budget has been affected and a lot of developments will also be affected,” said Fidze.

Source : New Zimbabwe