Press Release: In a landmark case argued by MDC Vice President Hon. Tendai Biti, the High Court today outlawed government’s two per cent transaction tax on Zimbabweans.
The MDC has for long argued the two percent tax the Mnangagwa government introduced amounts to illegally milking the suffering citizens.
On 1 October 2018 in his first act as Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube imposed the
2% transaction tax that has caused much pain and anguish across Zimbabwe.
Twelve days later on 12 October 2018 Mthuli then sought to remedy his earlier position by enacting SI 205 of 2018 which amended a section of the Income Tax Act that had originally imposed a paltry 0.05% transaction tax in 2010.
The MDC, like every other Zimbabwean, was up in arms against the tax .We argued at the time that imposing a punitive tax on an already tax-burdened population was cruel and irrational.
We also argued that Zimbabwe was in a recession characterized by low productivity, stagnation and weak or non-existent aggregate demand. In these circumstances, the logic of recession economics demanded that the
government drastically reduces taxes in order to allow people to have disposable incomes.
We further argued that this was an overzealous expansionary fiscal policy. Rather the real challenge has always been that of a government that cannot live within its means.
Today’s judgment by Justice Happias Zhou vindicates our position that Mthuli Ncube’s actions were illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional. Mthuli Ncube appears to be running the economy by a plethora of illegal regulations when no modern economy has ever been run by illegitimate regulations.
Today’s judgment setting aside SI 205 of 2018 vindicates our position that government has tendencies to operates outside the law, like
Germany under the Third Reich.
We are aware that government sought to cover the illegal tax in a belated 2019 Finance Act but what the judgement does is to give Zimbabweans a further legal basis for a future challenge on the tax.
Today’s landmark judgement also appears to vindicate opposition thinking that Mnangagwa’s administration is a piranha State that has gone all out to
illegally fleece ordinary Zimbabweans by asking them to subsidize a profligate regime that hires expensive private jets and whose leaders
seek expansive treatment outside the country when ordinary citizens can hardly buy a packet of painkillers.
Speaking of health delivery, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association leader Peter Magombeyi has been missing since last week and it is widely believed security agents had a hand in it.
Magombeyi and team were demanding better working conditions.
The illegal tax should be viewed as having been yet another vicious assault on the law and on the collective dignity of ordinary Zimbabweans.