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ED says complaints against 2% tax ‘democratic’ but vows it will stay

CONTENDER: EmmersonMnangagwa. 18/04/2012. © Sunday Times.

By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says those opposed to his government’s 2 percent tax imposition on electronic transfers were free to voice their disappointment but he insisted that the levy was there to stay.

He was addressing hundreds of guests at this year’s public sector audit conference at Rainbow Towers Hotel on Thursday.

Mnangagwa said the unpopular tax was necessary for a country that is keen to emerge from its deep debt crisis.

“In a democracy you are allowed to have your view and I have my view,” Mnangagwa said while responding to sentiments made during question time that the tax was a hindrance.

“I don’t think it’s a hindrance. It has helped us a lot now to narrow the deficit gap in our economy.”

The 2 percent levy introduced by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube few weeks ago has caused uproar among Zimbabwean businesses and ordinary citizens who feel this was not wise for a country that ranks among the world’s most taxed nations.

The government tax has also been blamed for sharp price increases witnessed in the past month as businesses scrambled to cushion themselves against the additional costs in their budgets.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa said at a party rally recently that the government tax was daylight robbery on poor citizens by the Zanu PF led regime.

However, in his comments Thursday, Mnangagwa hinted his administration may consider a further review on the tax when Minister Ncube presents his much awaited 2019 budget statement later this month.

“The Minister of Finance…before the end of the month, he is going to make a budget statement.

“I can safely say he will also look at that in order to improve. I don’t know whether what he will say will improve your position or improve mine. But he is going to have a conversation around it.”

Meanwhile, in his prepared speech earlier, President Mnangagwa urged auditors to remain true to their calling as they are key to government’s efforts to root out corruption.

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