ZCTU protests planned against ‘il­le­gal’ 2% tax

Daily Nation Newspaper - - WORLD -

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

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