Municipalities revenue collection bid dealt blow

Municipalities revenue collection bid dealt blow
Published: 26 August 2019 (81 Views)
A RECENT judgment by Supreme Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe that nullified resolutions and by-laws requiring legal practitioners to apply and pay for trading licences has dealt a blow to revenue collection plans by councils and municipalities.

A number of cities and municipalities have of late intensified efforts to maximise revenue collection from businesses and targeted law firms given the increase in the number of registered legal firms across the country.

Justice Hungwe's judgment came about after City of Harare, City of Mutare and Municipality of Chinhoyi passed resolutions empowering them to promulgate by-laws enabling them or their employees to charge and collect licence fees from legal practitioners conducting business in their jurisdictions.

However, Harare mayor Herbert Gomba said although the City of Harare will be compelled to implement the court's judgment, he feels lawyers, as citizens, must also contribute to the development of the city.

"I do respect all court judgments and will, as council, implement it to the fullest unless an appeal is made. I also feel lawyers, as citizens, they must contribute to the development of the city," Gomba said.
A number of legal practitioners affected by councils and municipality demands had objected to move, arguing that they are professionals whose licensing is regulated by a professional body, the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ).
The lawyers petitioned the High Court for recourse, saying since they all pay their trade licences to the LSZ; they should not, therefore, be made to make further payments to the councils or municipalities.

"It is clear that the three respondents (City of Harare, City of Mutare and Municipality of Chinhoyi), so applicant submits, for purely economic reasons, have sought to raise licence fees from legal practitioners either without any lawful basis or relying on by-laws promulgated by the Local Government minister purportedly based on either section 219 or 229 of the Urban Council Act," Justice Hungwe said.

LSZ argued that its view was that trade licences, which the councils and municipalities were demanding, were for traders only and not legal practitioners who cannot be classified as traders.

"As professionals they (legal practitioners) are licenced by a relevant authority which is the applicant (LSZ)," the body said, adding that the business of its members is governed by the Legal Practitioners Act through the Council of the Law Society.

In his determination, Justice Hungwe ruled in favour of the LSZ.

"Any resolutions passed by and/or by-laws enacted at the behest of the respondents requiring applicant's members to apply and pay for trading licences in order to provide legal services to their clients are invalid, null and void and of no legal force or effect," he said.

"Any resolution and/or by-laws referred to in paragraph 1 above wrongfully and unlawfully interfere with the independence of the legal profession and are invalid, null and void and of no legal force or effect and any resolution and by-laws referred to in paragraph 1 above are ultra vires section 219 of the Urban Councils Act. The respondents shall pay the cost of this application."

- newsday

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Zambia to double electricity prices

by Reuters | 17 September 2019 | 108 Views

Arsenal fumbles a 2-point lead to a draw against Watford

by Staff Writer | 17 September 2019 | 73 Views

507 Nigerians leave South Africa

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 100 Views

Teacher takes home $24 after maintenance deductions

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 150 Views

'Dr Magombeyi's 'abduction' the work of a third force'

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 132 Views

Bosso settle for British coach

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 137 Views

Arrested 'Zimbabwean' millionaire swaps jail for a swanky Maserati in SA

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 101 Views

Mnangagwa's govt shoots itself in the foot

by Editorial - Daily News | 17 September 2019 | 152 Views

Mukanya doesn't want to be buried at Heroes Acre

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 144 Views

Gold deliveries to recover: Mangudya

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 118 Views

Mnangagwa in surprise Chamisa cheer

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 148 Views

Zanu-PF, MDC battle for Zaka East

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 116 Views

Tagwirei, Wadyajena square off in US$3,6m dispute

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 78 Views

Mohadi in South Sudan state visit

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 117 Views

'Treasury instructed us to pay US$660m to Sakunda'

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 127 Views

Mnangagwa in tight spot over kidnappings

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 152 Views

Lukewarm reception for Mugabe's body

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 117 Views

ZANU PF scores own goal

by ZHRO Team | 17 September 2019 | 207 Views

Doctors paralyse Zimbabwe hospitals

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 161 Views

'Teachers' unions pursuing political agenda'

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 125 Views

Tendai Biti led team queries 'rogue' RBZ payments

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 141 Views

Police shoot car's wheels to stop smuggler

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 129 Views

Gweru sued over shoot-to-kill policy on stray dogs

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 102 Views

Suicide cases rise

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 102 Views

Witchcraft accusations land woman in court

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 116 Views

Fresh calls for price controls

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 102 Views

Abductions choreographed ahead of Mnangagwa's UNGA meeting

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 110 Views

Jonathan Moyo reveals Zimbabwe's abduction team

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 180 Views

Govt pisses on the graves over Mugabe

by Zororo Shumba | 17 September 2019 | 151 Views

Kings and Mambos must be careful

by Presia Ngulube | 17 September 2019 | 118 Views

Competition and Tariff Commission under fire

by Nicholas Ncube | 17 September 2019 | 104 Views

Mnangagwa panics over Paul Siwela TV interview

by Israel Dube | 17 September 2019 | 248 Views

Harare house burns with US$200 000 inside

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 197 Views

Sibusiso Moyo's statement on the abduction of Dr Peter Magombeyi

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 227 Views

BREAKING: ZBC CEO granted bail

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 156 Views

Zimbabwe Communist Party speaks on abducted doctor

by ZCP | 17 September 2019 | 191 Views