The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has expressed concern over the updated Statutory Instrument 25 of 2020 which exempts Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei Technologies from paying income tax saying the move was a violation of the constitution which states that the tax burden should be shared equally.
In a statement released last week Friday, ZIMCODD said it was worrisome that government decided to give a foreign monopoly tax exemption while milking ordinary citizens through the 2 percent tax on all electronic transactions.
“The income tax exemption violates Section 298 (1) (b) (i) of the Constitution which states that “the burden of taxation must be shared fairly.”
“It is therefore worrisome that the government has decided to give the foreign monopoly tax exemption backdating 11 years ago when the same government is milking the ordinary citizen through the unpopular and unjust 2% Intermediated Money Transfer Tax, among a host of other retrogressive taxes,” noted ZIMCODD.
The coalition also expressed concern over what it said was an unscrupulous trend of bypassing Parliament which is the constitutionally mandated law-making institution.
“The Executive is usurping powers of the Legislature and by default, power of the electorate. It is a cause for concern that at this pace, democratic accountability is gradually being eroded and replaced by dictatorial tendencies by the Executive.
“The move supports the trending discourse of state capture by the elite as this Statutory Instrument is protecting the interests of a foreign monopoly prejudicing the country of the much-needed revenue to invest in basic social service delivery that will see millions in the country escape from the poverty cycle,” said ZIMCODD.
The government’s income tax exemption ZIMCODD says “is therefore not in the spirit of tax justice, constitutionalism, and progressive taxation in Zimbabwe; and the government must immediately repeal the said Statutory Instrument and respect Section 119 (3) of the national constitution which clearly states that “all institutions and agencies of the State and government at every level are accountable to Parliament.
“In the interest of constitutionalism and the rule of law, the government must submit its intentions to exempt Huawei from paying income tax to Parliament and it will be the role of the legislature to consult the public, debate and scrutinise this intention and see whether it serves the collective aspirations of Zimbabweans.”