Govt re­moves duty on san­i­tary wear

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Bu­l­awayo Bureau

GOVERN­MENT has re­moved duty on san­i­tary wear, a move likely to be wel­comed by women as the price of ba­sic toi­letries is now beyond the reach of many.

Gen­der ac­tivists and leg­is­la­tors have over the years pleaded with Govern­ment for duty free and sub­sidised san­i­tary wear, to no avail.

Speak­ing dur­ing a pre­bud­get sem­i­nar in Bu­l­awayo on Thurs­day, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube said it was a “done deal” and he would an­nounce it in the 2019 bud­get state­ment.

“The cost of san­i­tary wear and re­mov­ing duty on it, con­sider it done,” he said. “We will have some­thing on the bud­get on this is­sue of san­i­tary ware. Con­sider it done; there is no de­bate.”

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, chair­per­son of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on Bud­get, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Cde Felix Mhona had pro­posed a sub­sidy for san­i­tary ware.

“Hon­ourable Speaker Sir, con­cerns were raised over the cost of san­i­tary wear which is now beyond the reach of many and it was pro­posed that Govern­ment sub­side san­i­tary ware and con­sider giv­ing it for free to all girls of school go­ing age,” he said.

MDC-T Bu­l­awayo leg­is­la­tor (pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion) Mrs Priscilla Misi­hairabwi-Mushonga, who has been ad­vo­cat­ing for the cause for years, could not hide her joy at the news.

“I’m ex­cited, al­though it has taken us al­most two decades to get to a point where Govern­ment has agreed and it is a legacy that this par­tic­u­lar min­is­ter will take with him for a very long time,” she said.

“There is no VAT (Value Added Tax). So we are also not pay­ing duty.”

Mrs Misi­hairabwi-Mushonga caused a stir when she brought a san­i­tary pad to Par­lia­ment last year in a bid to em­pha­sise her point.

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