High Court Judge, Justice Happias Zhou has today set aside Statutory Instrument SI 205/2018 which regulated the two percent intermediated electronic tax imposed by the finance minister Professor Mthuli Ncube.
This followed an application by former Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) Executive Director, Mfundo Mlilo who challenged the introduction of the 2% tax through Statutory Instrument 205 of 2018.
Mlilo argued that a Minister could not legally amend an Act via an statutory instrument.
On behalf of Mlilo, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) vice President and human rights lawyer Tendai Biti successfully proved his facts before the court, arguing that the government was illegally milking the suffering citizens.
The MDC has since issued a statement saying that they are thrilled by the High Court outcome since every Zimbabwean was against the government’s decision in 2018.
“The MDC, like every other Zimbabwean, was up in arms against the tax and 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,” reads part of the statement.
The finance minister’s first move when he was elected in office was to impose the 2 percent transaction tax that has caused much pain and anguish across Zimbabweans from all walks of life.
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 percent transaction tax in 2010.
“Today’s landmark judgement vindicates the MDC position that the Mnangagwa 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,” said MDC deputy national spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka.