Govt mortgaging citizens’ future through costly deals with foreign firms – says CCC

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By Darlington Gatsi

GOVERNMENT has mortgaged the future of Zimbabweans to foreign companies through resource-based loans and tax breaks, further burdening ordinary people, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has said.

This comes on the back of a report released by resources campaigners which shed light on opaque deals the Government is entering with multinationals which they argue are plundering national resources.

This came out during last week’s Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba in the Capital hosted by Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) and Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC).

The indaba disclosed that resource based loans  entered by government as a means to rescue the economy from quagmire are unfeasible.

Addressing the media Wednesday, CCC deputy spokesperson Ostallos Siziba castigated government’s stance on giving tax breaks to mining companies saying it burdens ordinary citizenry.

“The regime continues to mortgage the future of our country and resources based loans with foreign countries and giving tax brakes to big mining cooperations and conglomerates in the platinum sector something which is very worrying because this is burdening ordinary citizens with high individual taxes violating section 298 of the constitution which states that the burden of taxation must be shared fairly,” he said.

Last month Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube torched a storm in Parliament after revelations that government mortgaged US$28 billion worth of platinum for a US$200 million farming loan from China.

Meanwhile CCC is cranking up pressure on government to address civil servants salaries who have grown restless in demanding increments.

Civil servants have threatened industrial action over poor wages which they argue have been eroded by the spiralling inflation.

“The cost of living is increasing, ordinary people cannot afford and most of them particularly civil servants are earning a salary below the poverty datum line and this is also happening at the same time the State requires these civil servants to show up to work despite getting a salary that cannot afford them to report for duty everyday.

“Without any ambiguity we stand clearly in support of the calls by teaching and working class in total in their demands for a salary above the poverty datum line,” added Siziba.