'Govt shouldn't sacrifice ordinary Zimbos'

HARARE – Government has been urged to own up to its overspending and stop punishing ordinary citizens by burdening them with the extra two percent per dollar tax.

Responding to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent utterances that Zimbabweans should take the pain, analysts said it was not fair for the government to hurt the ordinary citizens.

Curiously, despite the outrage over taxations and the worsening economy, the president this week defended his administration’s policies saying the liberalisation of the economy has its own pains and Zimbabweans have no choice but to endure the phase.

Mnangagwa was responding to questions at a Professional Women, Women Executives and Business Women Forum (Proweb)-organised breakfast meeting in the capital.

Political analyst Eldred Masunungure yesterday told the Daily News that although it is understandable that sacrifices should be made in redressing the economy, it is unfair to make the already burdened citizens pay for the leadership’s erring.

“It is understandable that after two decades of economic slide, sacrifices should be made; even though those that are responsible are the ones that are calling for the sacrifices. But it should be the leadership not the grassroots that should start the sacrificing,” he said.

“There should be evidence that government, the regime leaders are making serious and constant efforts to sacrifice on the altar of the economy and the masses will follow suit.

“In this instance the elite have maintained their lifestyle while the masses are suffering. The best lesson is through practice and the government elite should lead by example,” he said.

Analyst Ibbo Mandaza said the introduced reforms show that the government has run out of ideas in the context of a ballooning expenditure bill.

He said by November last year the domestic debt was $2,6 billion and now it has ballooned to $9,6 billion, noting that an audit needs to be carried out to account for the $7 billion spending.

“It only shows that government has run out of ideas and people must demand the $7 billion. Where did all that money go in just a few months?

“Clearly, government overspending is responsible for the crisis. So why should everyone suffer?” he said.

“There was a policy dialogue last week which the Finance minister (Mthuli Ncube) was supposed to attend but he didn’t. The demand for the $7 billion was the resolution at that meeting. People want to know where the money went; they want an audit.”

Eddie Cross, an economist was, however, supportive of government’s economic reforms hinting the current administration inherited a sickly economy from the previous government.

He said the two percent tax should not be a cause of alarm among the ordinary citizens who do not transact in large amounts.

“He (Mthuli) is right; we inherited a messy economy from the previous regime. He had to address the economic crisis and two percent tax is one of the measures to do so,” he said.

“In the meantime Zimbabweans have to take the pain as we fix the economy. The two percent tax impinges on the wealthy more than the poor.

“The ordinary make small individual transactions, compared to the large sums that the elite transact,” said Cross.

When he presented the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) last week, the Finance minister said Zimbabweans should brace themselves for trying times as the government addresses the economy.

Mnangagwa on Monday further emphasised that for a viable and solid economy, his administration is going to take measures that are going to be painful.

For the past days after the central bank and the Finance ministry implemented new economic reforms, the country continues to experience sky rocketing forex exchange rates, commodity shortages, consequent price hikes, looming retrenchments and company closures as part of the pain package.

Comments (6)

Eddy Cross, can't you see that the old government is the new government? Same party same policies just a different approach to failure!

citizen - 10 October 2018

Eddie Cross is correct. "Citizen" and fellow Zimbabweans let us give President Mnangagwa, Finance Minister Ncube to address the disaster that our economy is. It took us decades to destroy it will not take hours to reform and restore. Our economy is not a common cold we can blow away - it it is acute TB - in intensive care requiring special attention and treatment. Let us give the professionals time, space and the patience to do what they can. Only then can we say Muthuli has failed. Politicians, activists harping on about things they do not know (economics etc..) will just create panic. We need to be producing more and importing less. Our exports should rise - this takes time. Business has been profiteering, creating artificial shortages and taking advantage of the situation. Why should KFC close down because they have run out of cash to import chickens!!!!!!!!! This is ludicrous! Essentials deserve foreign currency allocation. What can be sourced, grown, dug, reared etc in Zimbabwe should be acquired locally. Import duty should be further raised on raw materials and goods that can be sourced locally (unless there is justificable cause for the import which requires a license). The road ahead will be tough and painful but 3/5 years from now we will be rejoicing if we are patient. Irresponsible combi / social media talk will just perpetuate panic, alarm. We need to come together as Zimbabweans. Fingerpointing and mudslinging is not taking us anywhere

Daniel 5 - 11 October 2018

The mismanagement by the government must not affect the ordinary person please. The government spent millions of dollars buying vehicles for the chiefs but there are ambulances in the hospitals and vehicles for the police force to execute their duties. We can not pay for lavish styles of life by government officials. The truth is that this government is not for the people but for their own.

Amalinze - 11 October 2018

@ Daniel or Dhanere, you sound empty. Why do you want Zimbabweans to be over taxed for government overspending. Look at the state of the art campaign vehicles bought by Zanu PF when hospitals have no ambulances and medicine. Chiefs's cars , War Vets cars, for what if economy is not sound. why then they failed to sacrifice and not buy these expensive cars using tax payer's money? Why not abuse US$1,6MILLION to hire a private jet only for Grace Mugabe to come to Zimbabwe using tax payer's money? Why not use Zimbabwe's vast resources like gold, diamonds, lithium, platinum, coal, nickle, chrome, tantalite, vanandium, methane gas, iron, Vic Falls, Gonarezhou, Nyangani mountains, Chimanimani mountains, Vumba mountains, Kariba, Mana pools, etc to generate revenue for government. Mutuli policies are only to benefit the elite who will have more looting trouphs. Zanu PF is just good at destroying and looting from the masses under the name of policies. STOP THIEVES

Makumbinde - 11 October 2018

NO TO TAXES, pasi ne mbavha dzinoramba dzichibiira varombo. mBAVHA dzisina nyadzi. Hamuguti kuba ka imi. Pasi ne ma taxe kuva rombo.

G40 - 11 October 2018

I used to regard Eddie Cross highly,but by supporting the 2% tax on the pretext that the current government inherited a sickly economy is actually displaying his sickness.Why i say so is because the person at the helm ,Ngwena and some of his ministers have been in this same zanu pf govt for a long time,worse Mnangagwa who has been in govt since 1980.Have they inherited a sickly economy from themselves?Such measures can only be accepted when the govt is doing their part.There are still thousands of ghost workers in govt who are paid to do nothing,the same govt recently bought about 200 state of the art vehicles for Chiefs whose role has now shifted to election campaign managers for zanu pf, and as if that was not enough,the same Mnangagwa hired a private plane for Grace Mugabe using about 1,5 million from Singapore to attend her mother's funeral when citizens were dying of cholera due to lack of water and medicines yet some people have the guts to support the fleecing of the ordinary citizens by a few elite most of whom were rejected by the people in the recent elections yet they bulldozed their way into leadership by hook and crook.Not even one leader from the same zanu pf govt has spoken against govt's penchant to spend money that the dont have.Bailing the zanu pf govt is like throwing money into a bottomless pit and expect it to come out when you need it.Mnangagwa is just tricking people into believing that he has a different approach from his predecessor Mugabe ,yet the results of his way of governing are even worse than that of old Bob.How can 75 year old change his way all of a sudden when he has been living in the shadow of a cruel dictator for around 50 years?As the saying goes,you cannot teach and old dog new tricks.

Munya Luke Mabika - 11 October 2018

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