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RBZ, Govt Benefiting From Cash Crunch

A local non-governmental organisation has blasted the government for lacking motivation to address cash shortages in order to continue pocketing the 2 percent intermediary tax charged on electronic transactions.

Speaking during a national budget analysis programme held in Gweru recently, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) Socio-Economic Analyst Tafadzwa Chikumbu said cash woes faced by Zimbabweans are far from over as government is profiting from it.

“There is no motivation in the RBZ and government to make sure that there is enough cash in the banks, the reason being that the 2 percent tax is contributing 13 percent our tax revenue in Zimbabwe.

“So do we really think government can encourage people to use cash yet there currently getting lots of monies through swipe?

“So that motivation to fix the cash problem is not there because it will make government lose a lot of revenue,” Chikumbu said.

He said despite government initially encouraging the use of electronic money to reduce the demand for hard cash in the country, the public is now being punished for using the electronic systems through the 2 percent tax introduced by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.888

Addressing current cash shortages with the scrapping of the bond notes and their re-introduction as the country’s official currency remains rhetoric,” added Chikumbu.

Meanwhile, during the same event, Chikumbu said 2019 will be known as the year for Statutory Instruments (SIs) which have compromised the democratic process of enacting laws in the country through the Parliament process.

As a result, he said, public trust and confidence has been lost as laws are now viewed as punishment.

“Laws are supposed to pass through Parliament after motions have been moved by Ministries or Bills have been proposed which makes sure there checks and balances to the process but SIs are when a specific government department ask the President to enact a law which is not subject to debate,” he said.

“Now the public views are that laws are only made to inflict pain on them.

“To date we now have more than 300 SIs enacted since the 2013 constitution against only 8 or 9 laws being made through Parliament each year,” said Chikumbu.

The Director in the Parliament Budget Office Mr Pepukai Chivore, making a presentation at the same event, highlighted the outcomes of the recent 2020 budget Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development, those recommendation that were captured and taken on board and those left out.

Present was also the Director in the office of the Minister of State for the Midlands Province, City of Gweru Deputy Mayor, Midlands State University Lecturers, National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) Midlands office representatives, Civic Society Organisation among others.

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