Opposition PDP slams Chinamasa travellers’ rebates

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THE opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP)has condemned the decision by the government to reduce travellers’ rebate from $300 to $200 and the upgrading of traditional cross border traders who use small trucks and buses as commercial cargo for duty purposes. The party described the measures as “insensitive and desperate”.
Below is the statement by PDP economic affairs spokesman Settlement Chikwinya:
The year 2016 is just five days old only but Zanu PF has already made decisions that guarantee that the New Year will entrench in the further suffering of the Zimbabwe public and the further decimation of the Zimbabwe economy.
We have always argued that Zimbabwe is run by a bunch of clowns who are cruel, selfless, and arrogant and are not concerned about the suffering that the people of this country are going through every day. 
Their holy grail is power retention and nothing else.
The recent decision announced by the government to reduce travellers’ rebate from $300 to $200 and the upgrading of traditional cross border traders who use small trucks and buses as commercial cargo for duty purposes is both insensitive and desperate.
Given the high levels of the informalization of the economy, many people have turned to cross border trading to eke out a living for their families. 
Therefore, Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa’s decision on rebate reduction will cripple the operations of thousands of Zimbabweans who are desperately trying to eke a living in a country that has been brought to its knees by Chinamasa and his government.
The decision will also see the mushrooming of corruption, illicit transactions at all border posts particularly at the Beitbridge Border Post. 
If the decision made by Chinamasa is meant to see the increase in revenue to a desperate government, the reverse will be achieved. 
The decision to slash travellers’ rebates is also totally unscientific and against economic logic. 
Chinamasa has also exposed the government’s desperation to find other new sources of revenue in the face of an imploding economy by announcing new steep fines for various traffic offences. 
The new traffic fines will worsen corruption as very few people can afford to pay the $100 spot fines that have been introduced for various offences.Advertisement

Zimbabwe is in the middle of a recession which has been the case since 2012.  This recession is characterised by weak aggregate demand, deflation and contracting of the economy. 
That recession has resulted in government failing on its public service obligations.
For the first time in history, the government has failed to pay the civil servants their 2015 annual bonus and December salaries. Civil servants experienced their bleakest Christmas in recent memory.
Where an economy is in a recession, a decent government promotes growth and aggregate demand.  Under these circumstances taxes and interest rates must be lowered to countenance disinflationary trends in the markets. 
However, this illiterate government is trying to do the opposite.
By increasing taxes and failing to honour salaries and bonuses to civil servants, the clueless Zanu PF government is deepening the hole that the country finds itself in.
The truth of the matter is that Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have failed in absolute terms and must resign. 
The year 2016 will be a decisive year for the processes of achieving democracy and restoring the economy. 
Therefore, it is important for all the progressive opposition political parties to find a formula of working together in order to achieve a better and prosperous Zimbabwe for all. 
This cursed government cannot be allowed to continue abusing us the suffering citizens.
Surely Another Zimbabwe is Possible!!!
Settlement Chikwinya is PDP Acting Secretary for Economic Affairs