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Outcry over continued tax on sanitary wear

by Staff reporter
15 Mar 2019 at 06:13hrs | Views
MDC-T Bulawayo Legislator, Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, has called on the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to uphold the policy on sanitary wear following reports that its importation still attracts a 50 percent tax.

In his budget announcement last year in November, Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the scrapping of tax on sanitary wear was a done deal. 
A significant number of women in the country, especially in rural areas, use unhygienic material like sticks and pieces of cloth during their menstrual periods as they cannot afford sanitary wear.

Removing duty was seen as a major step in reducing the price of sanitary wear and making it available to the majority.  Ms Misihairabwi-Mushonga told Parliamentarians on Tuesday that the month of March (women's month) should be used to address issues affecting Zimbabwean women.  

"We passed the whole issue of sanitary wear and the taxation in this House and I specifically asked the Minister to indicate that we are not going to have a situation where particular sanitary wear will not be imported in this country," said Ms Misihairabwi – Mushonga.  

"As I speak right now, Zimra is still charging taxation on sanitary wear, particularly for the menstrual cups and for the pants at 50 percent for that importation".

She argued that it was important for the Ministry to implement everything that the House of Assembly passes.  

"I think that basically makes this House a nullity because we sit here, approve things and the Minister says it is going to be done, yet those that are supposed to implement it are doing exactly the opposite. I therefore am asking that we do call the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to this House so that he can come and give us an explanation on why those things that we pass in this House and agree to are not necessarily being implemented.

"I would want to ask the Leader of the House to make a ruling that since it's our month, motions that are to do with women and girls be moved by women in this House," said Ms Misihairabwi- Mushonga.  

Gender activists and legislators have over the years pleaded with Government for duty free and subsidised sanitary pads to no avail.

Source - chronicle