Pro-democracy activist challenges govt’s punitive tax

A pro-democracy activist has hauled Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube to court seeking an order to suspend the imposition of a punitive tax on electronic transactions.

Mthuli Ncube is now an economist at Oxford after stint as vice president at the African Development Bank

In an application filed in the High Court on behalf of Mfundo Mlilo by Tendai Biti, a member of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights, the pro-democracy activist argued that government’s decision, which is now
being implemented by service operators, was made by 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) Regulations Statutory Instrument (SI205/2018) in which
he sought to legalise and actualise his announcement done on 01 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 01 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.

Mlilo wants the High Court to suspend the decision taken by Ncube on 01 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.

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