Government scraps duty on all foodstuffs

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By Thandiwe Garusa

GOVERNMENT has removed duty on all foodstuffs as a way of ensuring their availability as well as protect hard-pressed citizens against the continued inflationary pressures that have resulted in constant price increases.

Last week, Cabinet announced the removal of import duty on wheat and maize meal but on Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced at a post-Cabinet media briefing the policy has since been extended to all foodstuffs.

“Cabinet reiterated its position on the relaxation of importation procedures of grain and foodstuffs. The nation is therefore informed that all companies and individuals with free funds are free to import not just maize meal and flour but the entire range of foodstuffs without importation permits,” Mutsvangwa said.

She added: “As such, therefore, no person shall be asked regarding source of the funds so used except when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a crime has been committed.”

Mutsvangwa said the move was to ensure Zimbabweans had access to food given continued shortages in the country.

“The intention is to ensure that by all means possible, citizens’ right to access food is protected until such a time that another review shall be deemed necessary.

“This will be done for such a time that we have enough food in the country; that then will be regulated,” the Information Minister said.

Currently, over 5 million people face starvation due to a severe drought in the country last year.