By Midlands Correspondent
ZIMBABWE’s tax regime scares investors rather than encourage them at a time the country is struggling to resuscitate the economy an opposition MP has said.
Gweru Urban lawmaker Brian Dube told journalists in Kwekwe recently that Zimbabwe’s taxation system is a complete put off to investors.
“The manner in which we tax in Zimbabwe is not motivating for an investor. We are actually ripping them off,” he said.
Added the MP: “We are really not motivating investors to do more for communities in which they are operating. We need to come up with a comprehensive reform to make social responsibility to be attractive for investors. We are however, failing in that area because of corruption, abuse and insensitivity.”
Dube suggested tax holidays for job creating investments as well as companies that invest more in communities.
“We must put in place mechanisms or a rebate system in which an investor will be exempted from certain taxes when they make capital projects of giving back to the community. That way they will do more for the communities they are investing in.
“They must be reduction in taxes looking at the capital investment in giving back to the community,” Dube said.
The law maker said powerful politicians have also taken advantage of investors to take money meant for community projects.
“Many companies think they have given back to the community after giving money to certain individuals who we be purporting to represent communities. Those given such monies are usually powerful in the provinces and you will not be able to trace the money.
“The little given must benefit the intended recipients in communities and they must be penalties for misusing money meant from community development,” Dube added.
“There is need to come up with a comprehensive reform agenda and proper legislation. When investors make such undertakings we must show that we are a kind of society that abides by the rule of law and that shun corruption.”
He cited the reports that the Community Share Ownership Schemes were looted by powerful politicians in Zanu PF a few years ago.
“It never benefitted the intended beneficiaries. The only thing we ended up having were the fights between chiefs and politicians in those areas,” he said.