Zim court hears pro-democracy campaigner’s challenge of Govt’s punitive tax

By Staff Reporter

HIGH court Judge Justice Happias Zhou will on Tuesday 12 February 2019
preside over the hearing and determination of an application filed by
a pro-democracy campaigner seeking an order to suspend the imposition
of a punitive tax on electronic transactions.

Justice Zhou will hear the application at 9:AM in Court L at the High Court in Harare.

In the application filed in October 2018 by Tendai Biti, a member of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Mfundo Mlilo, a pro-democracy
activist, argued that government’s decision, which is now
being implemented by service operators, was made by Finance and
Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube without the necessary
backing of the law in particular the amendment of the income tax or
the regulation of the tax in a statutory instrument.

Mlilo argued that although Ncube had on Friday 12 October 2018
belatedly enacted the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated
Monetary Transfer Tax) Regulation Statutory Instrument (SI205/2018) in
which he sought to legalise and actualise his announcement done on 1
October 2018, the statutory instrument still remained unconstitutional
and a nullity for a Minister cannot in regulations amend an Act of
Parliament.

Mlilo wants the High Court to suspend the decision taken by Ncube on
1 October 2018 to review the Intermediate Money Transfer Tax from 5
cents per transaction to 2 cents per dollar and to also forthwith
suspend the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated Money
Transfer Tax) Regulations published in SI205/2018.