By Diana Gondongwe
The Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (Ledriz) has criticised the tax regime in Zimbabwe which it described as a bane for the country quest to attract new capital in the economy.
Speaking at an engagement with the media practitioners in Masvingo recently, Ledriz senior researcher Dr Prosper Chitambara said heavy taxation coupled with inconsistent policy pronouncements by government was militating against investment and economic growth.
“High taxation is not good for any economy and our government highly taxes its citizens but this will never improve the economy,” said Chitambara.
He said there was evidence to prove that the Zimbabwean economy was collapsing largely due to mismanagement of public resources and gross financial indiscipline at government level.
Chitambara said an economy characterised by high consumption and depressed production was unsustainable, and called for reforms that can increase investor confidence in the productive sectors of the economy.
“We have a high consumption, debt-driven economy and this is not good for a sustainable at all. Our government heavily relies on borrowing money and printing more money but that will not help us in any way,” said Chitambara.
He said the economic problems Zimbabweans faced were largely self-inflicted due to the presence of selfish politicians who care more about self-enrichment at the expense of shared prosperity through economic growth.
“We have allowed politicians to manage our economy and the government is now using the sanctions discourse as an excuse for its internal failures while their cronies get richer by the day,” Chitambara said.
Participants at the engagement also raised many issues affecting them including poor salaries that are heavily taxed by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), leaving them unable to make long-term investments of their own.