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ZIMRA measures to restore value chain integrity utter insensitive, says former Senator

by Stephen Jakes
05 Jan 2024 at 19:19hrs | Views
FORMER MDC senator for Matabeleland North Chief Ndlovu from Nkayi has described the measures recently announced by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) meant to protect value chains integrity, issued in terms of Act 13 of 2023, as representing utter insensitivity of a government that presided over the demise of a formal economy as we knew it.

Ndlovu said the plight of the ordinary man and women surviving in the informal sector has been dealt a severe blow.

"For a president to ascend to such a Bill shows both a government and parliament that has not fully applied itself in finding better solutions to safeguard the interest of big businesses or have simply done so because they couldn't care less about the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans. The Act and the subsequent subsidiary Zimra regulations contained in the 'Measures to Protect Value Chains Integrity', directly kill the hope of over 1 million people that are in SME, home industries, middlemen and women, small traders, including the communal farmer that had this far coped by their small hustle given that there are no jobs," he said.

"The Apartheid government in South Africa enacted laws, very bad laws but they were still laws. Zimbabwe finds itself with bad laws meant to keep the privileged protected. There is no integrity in killing the livelihoods of over a million people and their dependent families just to protect a few. The just introduced Measures could have been introduced gradually to accommodate a transition for the informal traders who are likely to wake up the following day and get involved in corrupt activities just so they can survive."

Ndlovu said the government should desist from creating law breakers out of law abiding citizens.

He said downstream many families will not be able to raise school fees, medical health fees, rentals or just to put food on the table.

"The mantra 'ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi' Nyika inovakwa ne vene vayo' will just remain hollow for years to come and will remain only relevant to 'Chicken Inn' , its Simbisa Holdings, TM/Pick n Pay etc., the very companies that recently made record profits through price indexing that sent the local currency into tailspin," he said .

 "These are the companies that the recently introduced measure seek ' to protect ' In any case goods and services are overpriced in Zimbabwe. Breakfast at Meikles cost equivalent of R500 and what may subjectively be a better Breakfast at Premier Hotel at Umhlanga Rocks in South Africa will cost R200.00. What exactly is being promoted and protected here when these companies are racking in insane profits already."

"We have read of, and seen cars being donated to Zanupf during campaigns. These are not businesses that need protection from informal traders. They have been posting huge profits. These companies can afford and have been funding allies and friends during campaigns. The Restoration of Valued Chain Integrity has been introduced under very suspect conditions. But let it be known that such legalisation of criminality does not erase the criminality of the network between the cartels."

Ndlovu said the Act has come into effect, has anyone bothered to find out how these people, whose bread has been taken away from their mouths, will get alternative incomes to sustain their living.?

"From the look of things, President Mnangagwa is not bothered by the impact his government's measures on the common man and woman on the countryside that is trying, daily, to put bread on the tables of their families, a roof over their heads; transport to get to work ( whatever that might be) and above all, jobs that earn them a decent living," Ndlovu said.

"An alternative government will be sensitive to every Zimbabwean, to all business, formal and informal, workers and working people in this nation. Job creation for every able bodied Zimbabwean, incubation of SMEs and micro enterprises etc should be our focus. Wider consultation with affected communities and civil society organizations would have yielded a better people centered solution."

Source - Byo24News