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Mthuli Ncube now taxes villagers

17 Oct 2019 at 11:55hrs | Views
The Zimbabwean government has put into force a livestock levy. This levy will tax any livestock products of livestock, this includes milk, eggs and mazondo. The levying of the livestock will put to test the allegiance of the rural voter. This will be the first time  since independence rural folks will be taxed.

During the colonial era people were forced to pay tax for anything which was alive. This included levy for dogs or any livestock.  The reasons for such heavy taxes was to force the black community to look for employment in order to pay for the levy and sustain a living. Imposing a levy on livestock is the reason why many took up arms. It came a time to say enough is enough and Chimurenga was to be spread.

It should be noted that  Livestock is central to the livelihoods of rural Africa and is strategically important to the continent’s food and nutritional security and economy of African states. An African man’s strength is measured by his livestock. The African livestock sector contributes between 30 and 80% of the agricultural gross domestic product (GDP), and has the potential to deliver both the agricultural- led growth and the socio-economic transformation. Livestock forms a key part of the framework of African rural economy. Most things which are traditional are paid in livestock so taxing the livestock is throwing a spear in the heart of the Zimbabwean man and thereby casting aspersions on the support the ruling party needs so much. The ruling party will be shooting itself in the foot if it allows such plans to continue.

The importance of livestock is likewise reflected in the increasing awareness by African policy makers of the need to enhance livestock production in order to meet the rising demand for animal source foods by the expanding number of urbanized African consumers.

It is becoming widely recognised that unless a quantum and continuous increase in livestock production is achieved, many African countries will face progressively larger livestock import bills. Moreover, the failure to transform the African livestock industry will adversely impact on the growth of local industries, deny employment opportunities to the youth who dominate Africa’s growing human population, reduce income for African livestock producers and other actors along the value chain, and result in losses in revenues, and import income.

Levying the livestock will discourage livestock production as those in the rural areas will be afraid to keep large herds of cattle as they will have no money to pay for the levy.

Judging from the way the levying is to be done a cow will be the heavily taxed animal. One will pay tax for the beast, tax for the meat, tax for the milk tax for fuel which will be used to ferry the meat to the market and tax for the income. Strictly speaking the government is poised to sodomise the innocent poor rural farmer.
Zimbabwean will graduate as the most taxed poor citizen on earth.

We should remember that the heavily taxed beast will be paid by Rtgs or eco cash. Either way there will be a two percent levy waiting on each transaction. This two percent will be taken from an already taxed amount then the eco cash charges.
It is surely painful to be Zimbabwean in these circumstances.

Recognizing these challenges and the opportunities, to be missed will be an art which is needed in this part of governance

We must not forget that ZANU PF was mandated, through the vote to lead and coordinate the formulation of a Livestock Farming to transform the livestock sector by energising its under-utilized potential. This was never a motivation to levy livestock.

ZANU PF must look for a truly Zimbabwean and inclusive consultation process that reached out to experts and stakeholders at regional and national levels.

The Party must come up with  a strategy geared towards addressing Zimbabwe’s development needs and challenges.The strategy must be aligned to the national strategies, policy frameworks and guidelines; and is coherent with the Zimbabwean spirit of revamping livestock.

It is the mandate of the party to embrace business unusual approaches and focuses on encouraging increased investments from both public and private sources for the transformation of the livestock sector to enhance its contribution to socio-economic development and equitable growth.

The challenge that lies ahead is for the party to successfully implement the Promises made at campaign. It will be a very strange way of saying thank you to the rural folks by levying their only source of  livelihood.

ZANU PF must be seen to intervene where the government  fails to show or remonstrate with the people. An imperative will be to develop programmes capable of putting the strategy into action, thus delivering the desired results and impacts.

This idea of government looking for money from the bleeding masses is against humanity.

Implementing policies and manifesto promises as planned will dramatically transform the Zimbabwe livestock sector, realising its potential as a major contributor to the country’s socio-economic development, equitable growth and poverty reduction.

As the party leads government the tough killing austerity measures must not be allowed to be tormenting the people.

Taxing livestock should not be imported from the oppressive colonial  era into today’s independent Zimbabwe.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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