Harare mayor Jacob Mafume has ordered the Zimbabwe Republic Police to stop harassing business operators under the guise of inspecting operating licences.
This follows a video which has gone viral of police officers confronting a businesswoman, purportedly asking for an operating licence.
“We have taken note of the video of police officers asking for business licences in the city centre and we are going to write to the Officer Commanding Harare asking him to explain.
Police have no role in inspecting business licences in the city. It’s the duty of municipal police. We believe that this is a duplication of roles that will breed-rent-seeking behaviour.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the Harare City Council should use proper channels to air their grievances. Nyathi said:
“The Harare mayor knows what to do when he has a complaint. He should write to the Police Commissioner-General.
“In terms of the country’s laws, ZRP has a constitutional mandate to enforce all the laws promulgated by Parliament. We have the mandate to enforce laws such as Forestry Act, EMA Act and council by-laws in the country.
So there is nothing sinister about police inspecting if businesses are operating within the confines of the law.”