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Zimbabwe’s pro-democracy activist challenges government’s punitive tax

October 22, 2018

By Wallace Mawire

 Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube

Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube

A pro-democracy activist in Zimbabwe has hauled Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube to court seeking an order to suspend the imposition of a punitive tax on electronic transactions.

In an application filed in the High Court on behalf of Mfundo Mlilo by
Tendai Biti, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the
pro-democracy activist argued that government’s decision, which is now
being implemented by service operators, was made by Ncube without the
necessary backing of the law in particular the amendment of the income
tax or the regulation of the tax in a statutory instrument.

Mlilo argued that although Ncube had on Friday 12 October 2018
belatedly enacted the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated
Monetary Transfer Tax) Regulations Statutory Instrument (SI205/2018)
in which he sought to legalise and actualise his announcement done on
01 October 2018, the statutory instrument still remained
unconstitutional and a nullity for a Minister cannot in regulations
amend an Act of Parliament.

Mlilo wants the High Court to suspend the decision  taken by Ncube on
01 October 2018 to review the Intermediate Money Transfer Tax from 5
cents per transaction to 2 cents per dollar and to also forthwith
suspend the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated Money
Transfer Tax) Regulations published in SI205/2018.

Mlilo wants the High Court to suspend the decision  taken by Ncube on
01 October 2018 to review the Intermediate Money Transfer Tax from 5
cents per transaction to 2 cents per dollar and to also forthwith
suspend the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated Money
Transfer Tax) Regulations published in SI205/2018.

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