THE National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) has embarked on a verification exercise to find out the status of companies, with regards to compliance to operate in reserved sectors.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
The exercise comes amid indications that a number of foreigners were illegally operating in the reserved areas.
Last week NewsDay saw NIEEB officials in Bulawayo carrying out the exercise.
Also the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) confirmed in a notice to members that NIEEB was carrying out the exercise.
“NIEEB has confirmed that there is a verification exercise underway around the country. They are moving around business premises to find out the status of companies with regards to compliance to operate in reserved sectors,” reads part of the notice.
“Some of the factors they look for towards verifying compliance include verification that one is banking money, tax compliance; shareholding status and other statutory documents that facilitate business operation from institutions such as National Social Security Authority, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and city council,” it reads.
According to NIEEB, anyone operating in the reserved sector must have compliance documents and the law allows the NIEEB to ask for documentation to verify compliance.
When one is operating in a reserved sector, regardless of whether he or she is Zimbabwean or not, they must show a certificate of compliance.
CZI said NIEEB has pointed out that a number of foreigners were coming and being licensed by the Zimbabwe Investment Authority to invest in the sectors that are not
“They then go to immigration to get a residence status, but they then start operating in reserved sectors contrary to their investment licences,” reads the notice.
The statutory fee for getting the verification form is $20.
NIEEB requires Zimbabwean-owned businesses operating in the reserved sector to pay $130 for certification. Those owned by non-Zimbabweans pay an initial fee of $500 for the first year and $300 per year thereafter. These fees are annual payments as the Board has to verify on an annual basis.
Not having the compliance certificate is a criminal offence under which one can face up to four months in jail. NIEEB can also make a request for the operating licence to be cancelled.