By Anna Chibamu
GOVERNMENT will continue to levy the 2% transactional tax despite a High Court judgment early Wednesday that invalidated Statutory Instrument (SI) 205/2018, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has said.
High Court Judge Justice Happius Zhou earlier in the day ruled in favour of a local activist Mfundo Mlilo who last year approached the courts with an application arguing Ncube had not followed rules in introducing the tax that came into effect in October.
In a statement late Wednesday, Ncube said the judgment will not affect the collection of the tax under Statutory Instrument (SI) 205 of 2018 as it was validated by Parliament under the Finance Act Number 1 of 2019.
“The Attorney General has brought to my attention the judgement on SI 205/2018 pertaining to the collection of Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT).
“That judgment will not affect the collection and the levy of the IMTT because the collection of the tax under the SI 205/2018 was subsequently validated by Parliament under the Finance Act No.1 of 2019. Consequently, the 2% tax will continue to be levied,” Ncube said.
However, Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya on Wednesday insisted that the promulgation of the SI 205/2018 is illegal but the Zanu PF government enforced it to get money from poor Zimbabweans as government is broke.
“The National Assembly through the Parliamentary Legal Committee has almost a month after promulgation of an SI to deliberate and issue an adverse or non-adverse report.
“With regards to the 2% tax, it is not that Ncube was not aware that its promulgation through an SI was illegal, it is just that he wanted the money by all means and with Zanu PF, the end justifies the means,” said Chikwinya.
Mlilo the director of the Combined Harare Residents’ Association was represented by MDC Harare East MP and party vice president Tendai Biti.
Biti is a former Finance Minister and has challenged Ncube’s economic policies.
The opposition politician however seemed to admit Justice Zhou’s judgement was academic as indeed government had moved to push the tax into the Finance Act that was subsequently passed by Parliament.