Zimra is now charging a flat rate of 40% duty on all these goods and an extra US$5 for footwear. Why the extra US$5 for shoes, one wonders? Is this some secret fund to resuscitate the shoe industry?
The 40% duty is a rip-off and daylight robbery.
Why is Zimra introducing such punitive duties? Is it a way of raising funds for the government? An enquiry at the Legal and Corporate Services Division revealed that government was trying to promote the local industry. Which industry — the one that dumped us and exported its goods in 2008, forcing us to endure long hours at the country’s borders so that we could bring back milk, bread and sugar? Am I missing something here? Why is it that the local industry cannot compete with foreign goods?
Whatever the reason for this policy, as a Zimbabwean, I feel it is designed to punish me and I think the government is taking me for granted. They have experience in this; we go for hours without electricity and days without water, yet we have a city council and a government.
I doubt if government ever takes public interest into consideration when crafting policies. Maybe it is high time we showed the politicians that we cannot take any more of their deceit.
What will happen to the scores of women earning an honest living from selling 2-in-1 blankets? But then again, does the government care?
One would have thought that since our economy is showing signs of recovery, the authorities that are running (ruining?) the country would do all they can to encourage this by assisting small businesses to grow.
If the Government wants to be taken seriously, it should take itself seriously first and do away with policies aimed at punishing ordinary citizens. They should start by scrapping off the 40% duty levied on stoves, fridges, blankets and shoes. Local industry is not going to grow if it is overly protected and does not have healthy competition.