2 Non-governmental organisations have approached the High Court challenging the government’s decision to grant Great Dyke Investment (GDI) a company linked to businessman Kuda Tagwirei’s Landela Mininging a 5 year tax holiday, ZimLive reports.
An application filed by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on behalf of Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and the Center for Resources Governance and Transparency International Zimbabwe, wants the judge to overturn the tax holiday and order GDI to pay taxes.
Court papers that cite ZIMRA and Parliament of Zimbabwe among other respondents stated that:
The action of the first respondent (Ncube) in granting the second respondent (Great Dyke) income tax exemption for five years is neither reasonable nor is it substantively fair.
The applicants, therefore, make an application on an urgent basis, for a provisional order to set aside Statutory Instrumental 26/2021 by means of which the first respondent granted the tax exemption to the second respondent.
This matter is of great and critical urgency since it involves a matter of the national discussion at a time when the government of Zimbabwe needs every revenue generation scheme to deal with negative effects and demands placed on it by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown that has affected enterprises.
In my view, more than ever, there is need to rely on the industries that are deemed essential and are operating despite incessant and unpredictable lockdowns as the major taxpayers and therefore the application cannot wait until the indefinite lockdown is over and then be filled on the normal roll.
When contacted for comment, Centre for Natural Resources Governance programs manager Henry Nyamapokoto said Zimbabwe can’t afford such ventures given the fact that the government is cash strapped:
The responsibility of such a venture is questionable and doubtful at a time when the government of Zimbabwe is currently dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and there is every need of finances to combat the spread of this deadly virus
Dumisani Dube also approached the High on the same issue a few weeks ago.