VP Mphoko warns Zimra over taxing doctors
VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko has warned the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) against demanding tax for services that doctors render to patients free of charge.
VP Mphoko made the remarks while donating 3 000 day old chicks to residents of Mpopoma suburb at Bango Shopping Centre in Bulawayo on Sunday.
He said it was not fair for Zimra to demand tax from medical practitioners who are complementing Government efforts in providing health services to vulnerable groups.
The VP singled out Bulawayo-based radiologist Dr Danboy Gandanhamo who allegedly has been ordered to pay tax for patients who have been receiving treatment from him for free.
Dr Gandanhamo runs the Diagnostic X-Ray Centre housed at Lancet House in Bulawayo.
“Dr Gandanhamo has state of the art equipment that he uses to examine patients with different ailments. He bought the machines using his own resources but out of compassion he provides services for free to those who can’t afford.
“He’s been doing this for a long time and vulnerable people from all over the region have benefited. It puzzles me when such people are ordered to pay tax yet he has treated patients for free,” said VP Mphoko.
He warned Zimra officials against corrupt tendencies that had a negative economic and social impact on the people.
“We’re a Government of the people. He shouldn’t be taxed because he’s assisting the Government in providing health services that some people have no access to,” said VP Mphoko.
Zimra has been at loggerheads with health practitioners in the country after the tax collector garnished doctors’ accounts for income tax on payments that they are owed by medical aid societies.
Zimra also invaded medical practitioners who operate surgeries and private hospitals demanding their invoices before garnishing money from their accounts.
It has also made demands that every hospital, clinic and medical institution must now pay tax on every unpaid medical claim in their books of accounts.
Health practitioners condemned the garnishing of their accounts, arguing that Zimra was not considering that medical aid societies were not remitting money for services offered to their clients.