The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) Chairman, Cde David Chapfika, has read the riot act to licensing authorities that continue to issue business licenses to foreigners in areas reserved for locals under the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act.
The board says it is disturbed by recent developments which have seen downtown Harare being flooded by foreign nationals who are being licensed to operate small businesses at the expense of locals.
Cde Chapfika said his organisation will not watch and let local authorities continue to breach the law saying, a framework has to be set to make sure that foreigners make a respectable exit in areas preserved for locals.
â€œWe are saying those foreigners who have been operating in the retail and wholesale areas should be given a timeframe to make way for locals. As for those who continue to flout the law, we will be taking action to make sure that the law is respected,â€ he said.
Turning to the City of Harareâ€™s Easipark deal, Cde Chapfika said locals should have been given the nod to run the business unlike the situation obtaining where a South African company is in charge of the business.
In a bid to influence decision makers, an affirmative group, Upfumi Kuvadiki whose demonstration against the City Council over the Easipark deal was called off after some hooligans hijacked the march, have submitted a petition with over 400 signatures to the Harare City Council and the Ministry of Indigenisation and Empowerment demanding the immediate reversal of the deal.
The Indigenisation and Empowerment Act has set aside agriculture, beauty saloons, grain milling, retail and wholesale sectors among others for locals, but the implementation is being resisted.