Zim­babwe geared to pri­va­tise 35 SOEs

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

ZIM­BABWE is geared to pri­va­tise 35 State Owned En­ter­prises – SOEs rang­ing from tele­coms to min­ing in its quest to pro­pel its ail­ing econ­omy un­der new po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa con­firmed in a note...

ZIM­BABWE is geared to pri­va­tise 35 State Owned En­ter­prises – SOEs rang­ing from tele­coms to min­ing in its quest to pro­pel its ail­ing econ­omy un­der new po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa con­firmed in a note. Chi­na­masa fur­ther stated that re­vival of the econ­omy was Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa’ s pri­or­ity. He told re­porters that cab­i­net de­cided that the gov­ern­ment would par­tially sell some shares in a range of state-owned com­pa­nies, known lo­cally as paras­tatals. This would be done through en­gag­ing strate­gic part­ners and float­ing shares on the Zim­babwe Stock Ex­change - ZSE. Uganda’s gov­ern­ment is propos­ing a tax of 100 shillings ($0.03) per day for at least some users of so­cial me­dia such as Face­book and What­sApp, par­lia­ment said, amid crit­i­cism from press free­dom cam­paign­ers. The levy would ap­ply to users of ser­vices “in­clud­ing What­sApp plat­forms and Face­book video calls,” the Kam­pala-based na­tional as­sem­bly, which still needs to ap­prove any plan, said on its web­site. Pres­i­dent Yow­eri Mu­sev­eni told the Fi­nance Min­istry in March that taxes on so­cial me­dia could gar­ner 400 bil­lion to 1.4 tril­lion shillings per year, the lo­cal Daily Mon­i­tor news­pa­per re­ported. There’s been no ex­pla­na­tion of how use would be mon­i­tored and charges levied and paid. The gov­ern­ment of East Africa’s third-big­gest econ­omy is seek­ing ex­tra rev­enue as it strug­gles to reach its 2020 tar­get of mid­dle-in­come sta­tus, which needs per capita in­come of be­tween $1,045 and $12,736. A de­lay in start­ing oil pro­duc­tion in west­ern Uganda is af­fect­ing the gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic tar­gets, the plan­ning author­ity said in Fe­bru­ary. In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy Min­is­ter Frank Tumwe­baze was cited by the state-owned New Vi­sion news­pa­per on April 10 as say­ing the pro­posal is for a levy on “value added ser­vices” such as Skype and What­sApp calls. God­frey Mutabazi, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Uganda Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion, said Friday by phone that the tax would be on so­cial-me­dia plat­forms such as What­sApp and Face­book, without giv­ing fur­ther de­tails. The New York-based Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists, which crit­i­cized Ugan­dan au­thor­i­ties for block­ing so­cial me­dia dur­ing the coun­try’s dis­puted 2016 elec­tions, said on April 5 that the pro­posed taxes “have the po­ten­tial to cur­tail free­dom of ex­pres­sion and ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion.” It later said there had been mixed mes­sages from au­thor­i­ties and Mu­sev­eni should clar­ify whether Ugan­dan so­cial-me­dia users would be taxed.

Zim­babwe’s leader Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa

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