A coalition of civic society groups under the banner of Fight Inequality Alliance Zimbabwe (FIAZimbabwe) has expressed concern over tax administration that it says is prepared to favour of elites.
Addressing journalists in Harare, FIAZimbabwe spokesperson Janet Zhou said the tax burden lies heavily on the poor and it violates the Constitution.
“Tax injustices has become hard wired into the present economic system. Tax administration is rigged in favour of the elites at the expense of poor citizens. It has since departed from being progressive to regressive. Resultantly, the burden of taxation weighs heavily on the shoulders of the poor Zimbabweans in violation of Section 298 (1) (b) (i) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which stipulates that the burden of taxation must be shared fairly.
“The 2% tax doubles and triple taxes the poor in online transactions, yet the elites are insulated by their fat pockets. We stand opposed to the increase of Withholding Tax from 10% to 30% assented in the Finance Act No 7 of 2021 as it further strains the already repressed incomes of the poor. Unfortunately, citizens are overtaxed yet public service delivery and investment in social services infrastructure is on the decline which is an act of tax injustice,” said Zhou
She called on the Government to implement a wealth tax that will facilitate the redistribution of wealth.
“We are urging for the introduction and implementation of a wealth tax to facilitate the redistribution of a wealth from people who have too much wealth to meet the needs of the suffering majority. The abolishment of unjust and harmful tax incentives to foreign investors. The awarding of tax incentives to multinational corporations must be an outcome of a stakeholder consultative process.
“The government must introduce a COVID-19 Windfall Tax for corporates and individuals who have made phenomenal profits since 2020 to fund a just and equitable response to COVID induced poverty and suffering. The 2% tax must be scrapped or at least pegged above the poverty datum line which, according to ZimStats, is currently sitting at ZWL48 054 for a family of six as at December 2021,” she said.
Zhou called on ZACC and ZIMRA to undertake and act on intensive lifestyle audits of the rich Zimbabweans.