The Government of Zimbabwe has ordered foreigners involved in the retail trade to get proper documentation for them to operate businesses in the country.

Some foreigners operating tuckshops in Harare’s downtown area do not have shop licences and are escapees from refugee camps.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Sithembiso Nyoni on Monday toured the small retail shops popularly known as tukshops in Harare.

During the tower, it emerged that nationals from DRC, Pakistan and Nigeria dominate a sector wholly reserved for Zimbabweans yet most of them did not possess the required operating licences.

According to NewZimbabwe.com, one of the shops visited by Nyoni is being run by a Congolese who didn’t have documentation to run a shop and was supposed to be living in a refugee camp.

Nyoni said the Government does not intend to drive foreigners out of Zimbabwe but urged them to create a good working environment. She said:

"Retail is a reserved sector for Zimbabweans but we are not closing foreigners out.

There is a threshold. A foreign national has a certain trading threshold but if you go below that threshold, you are breaking the laws of Zimbabwe.

We do not want to chase anyone away. I will only implement the laws l am responsible for so make sure you have the required documentation to operate business in Zimbabwe."

It also emerged that in most of the tuckshops, food items were on the floor which is in violation of the Trade Act which stipulates that retailers should place products on shelves. 

Meanwhile, a representative of the Tuckshops Association Chamunorwa Mukova told NewZimbabwe.com that they want the Harare City Council and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) to reduce their charges.