ZCTU protests planned against ‘illegal’ 2% tax
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is reportedly calling for nationwide protests tomorrow, as the country has plunged into yet another economic crisis. According to NewsDay, this came after the country’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced a 2 percent tax on electronic money transfers last week, in a bid to raise money for the cash-strapped government. Ncube, however, reviewed the tax on Friday, exempting transactions below $10 and capping the tax at $10, 000. But the labour federation maintained that it was going ahead with the planned protests, as the tax was “illegal.” “Nothing has changed... In fact, the changes simply show that the (Finance) minister (Mthuli Ncube) was attempting to placate the rich and ignore the poor,” ZCTU president Peter Mutasa was quoted as saying. The tax was supported by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who said in a post on Twitter that this was “the only way to a stronger economy.” The tax announcement triggered price hikes and shortages of fuel and some basics like cooking oil over the weekend. The country was now grappling with “panic buying,” as locals feared the return of the 2008 commodity shortages that left many shops without basic goods. Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean government has reportedly dismissed claims by the opposition that the Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa holds the keys to the current economic problems affecting the country. The state-owned Herald newspaper quoted the country’s deputy chief secretary to the president and cabinet, George Charamba, as saying that Chamisa was not a “Messiah” or the answer to the country’s economic challenges. “I pity Chamisa because he is being invested with Messianic powers which he doesn’t wield. “... He is a mere man and an erring man like all mortals. The economy of this country will be turned around by the hands of the citizens of this nation,” Charamba was quoted as saying. Charamba’s remarks came as NewsDay cited Chamisa as saying that he had solutions to the country’s deepening economic crisis.
I pity Chamisa because he is being invested with Messianic powers which he GoesQ’t ZielG +e is a mere man and an erriQJ PaQ liNe all Portalsµ — George Charamba
Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube