VP Mphoko warns Zimra over taxing doc­tors

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Re­porter

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.

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