Bream fish suppliers reject new Levis by council
Sinazongwe,March 26,ZANIS—Bream fish and Kapenta suppliers in Sinazongwe District have vowed not to adhere to the newly introduced levies and charges by the Council due to lack of consultations with stakeholders in the fishing industry.
This came to light yesterday when Sinazongwe District Council called for a stakeholders meeting held at the Council chambers to discuss the new fees and charges that Councillors had endorsed on the fresh and dry fish products from Lake Kariba.
Sinazongwe District Council yesterday presented the newly approved fees and charges on fresh and dry fish including Kapenta and others such as crocodile products approved by the full Council but were rejected by traders from Kariba Midlands Development Association (KAMIDA) members and other traders.
However, Sinazongwe District Council maintained that the new fees and charges were already approved by the council and had become by-laws which could not be defied but needed to be adhered to by members of the association and other traders in the fishing industry operating in the District.
The council stated during the same meeting that, the last time fees and charges were revised on the said products was in 2005 and later in 2007 until the recent revision.
It was indicated that the reason for revision of the fees and charges included the need to broaden the revenue base for the council in order to enable it adequately provide the much needed public services.
And KAMIDA members have vowed not to adhere to the new fees and charges indicating that they would rather appeal for another stakeholder meeting to discuss the way forward and come up with fees and charges that would be fair to them.
They said they were ready to stop trading and bring the industry in the district to a halt until fees and charges are revised fairly for them to trade favourably.
According to a schedule of newly introduced fees and charges released by the Council, fees on fresh bream fish in a medium fridge of 200kg had been increased from k0.75 per kg to k1.50 and from k0.075 to k2.00 of 300kg large fridge, dry kapenta from K4.00 per 50kg bag to k 7.00 for associated members and K5.00 to K8.00 for non members.
The schedule also indicated that charges for fresh kapenta had been reduced from k0.08 per kilogram to k0.020 while other products like crocodile meat and skin had been increased from k0.050 to k 1.00 and k1.50 to k3.00 per skin respectively.
And KAMIDA chairperson Francis Zawa said that the new fees and charges were too high especially that kapenta business on Lake Kariba had gone down.
Mr. Zawa said that his association was not going to accept the new charges but will continue operating using old rates.
He said the Council had not carried out adequate consultations with the traders before coming up with the new fees and charges.
He added that the cost of trading in Kapenta had risen and profits realized were too minimal which would make it difficult for them to meet the new fees and charges.