Where is our tax money going?

That’s the only way to explain why we now have all these taxes that have started to kill us slowly.

Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa and his musketeers must have spent a whole semester last year studying toolkits on how to tax citizens to death at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology.

That’s the only way to explain why we now have all these taxes that have started to kill us slowly.

Sugar tax, wealth tax, toll tax, passport taxi, in addition to the mile-long taxes we have already been paying.

I hear that they are not done yet.

Word running around says they are seriously considering how to tax the air we breathe, the sunshine and the rains.

If they still have energy left after that, they would also want to tax the potholes, dumpsites and sewage ponds, seeing that we have plenty of those around.

Zimbabwe was already among the most taxed nations in the world.

It is perhaps the only country on this globe whereby the government taxes half your salary and gets half of the remainder when you go to use it.

 The difference between Zimbabwe and the other highly taxed countries like Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Japan is that there, the taxes are being used for the benefit of the people.

We are dying already.

 School and university fees have doubled, prices of basic commodities have risen steeply and just about everything has gone up, including inflation.

They say they want to raise money for this and that. That, of course, is a smart way of stealing from the people.

They have stolen all the diamonds, so there is nothing to tax anymore.

The lithium is being smuggled out without a single eyelid being batted. Same with the gold and other minerals.

They milked Zinara dry too, so there must be a new route to milk more. Hence the toll tax.

They can’t get enough money to chow from industry, because industry in Zimbabwe is dead. Instead, everyone is an informal trader now.

But then, do you expert such a clueless government to come up with a good way to tax informal business? That sector is already killed by the cops through extortion, bribery and illegal seizures, anyway.

They can’t get enough from wage taxes, because there are hardly any jobs in Zimbabwe. And there is nothing to expect from civil servants, whose Zim dollar salaries will make a monkey grow side pains with laughter.

Forget this other lie.

They say the sugar tax will reduce obesity in young people because it will bring down the consumption of sugary beverages.

But then, if they were so worried about obesity, how come these people in government are obese as a rule?

 They must shed their obesity first if they want us to take them seriously on this one.

In any case, who told them that increasing the price of sugary drinks will reduce their consumption?

Where will they get the revenue they are already raising from Coca Cola, Schweppes and the like if people stopped drinking the drinks?

Next thing, they will be sending police intelligence to monitor how much tea we drink at home and how many sugars we put in it!

But, for argument’s sake,  let’s give Mnangagwa and his cohort the benefit of doubt and assume they are raising the money for something that’s got nothing to do with their own mouths. What will that be?

Are they going to use the money they are squeezing out of us to build stadiums?

Seeing as it is we don’t have a single arena right now that’s fit enough to host even a cock fight. 

It’s so embarrassing that countries like Côte d'Ivoire have successfully hosted the Afcon in perhaps one of the best shows of the tournament so far.

Here in Zimbabwe, we love soccer so much. We miss the National Sports Stadium of the golden days. Rufaro, Babourfields, etc.

We won’t be asking what you did to them, because we know.

We just want to know if you are going to use the money you are extorting from us through the taxes to rebuild the one-time jewels.

We don’t worry about modern dugouts, VARs  and luxury seats. We just want our stadiums back.

Granted, Côte d'Ivoire is among the most taxed countries in the world. But, at least, it has something to show for it.

Or, are they going to use the money to rebuild our railway routes, get the wagons back on track and be able to fetch coal from Hwange to Ziscosteel and other places once again?

That’s what we really want, not this nonsense about obesity and diabetes. We have cholera, typhoid and hunger to worry about in real terms, so this issue about weight gain is just plain drama.

How much do they need to give us steady supplies of water and electricity again?

We will gladly accept being taxed more if that’s going to give us water and electricity, actually.

We can’t keep living in the Dark Age when we have enough money in our pockets to give to our government to facilitate light, so to say.

Mr Mnangagwa and his band must surely know that our hospitals are failing to cope even without obese patients.

 They don’t have drugs. They don’t have doctors.

They don’t have equipment. In fact, all they have is nothing.

Yet we didn’t hear Mthuli talk about resuscitating the health centres when he handed us that slew of taxes late last year.

So, if they are going to tax us like that, we expect the hospitals to be working again.

I see that these government people are already losing the appetite and energy to build roads.

 In fact, as we know, they are owing contractors millions of dollars. That means the emergency road rehabilitation and other funds have run dry.

How the money was actually used, we don’t know.

We just expect that they will use the taxes to build good roads, and do a better job than the snatch-and-patch thing we have seen so far.

Or maybe that’s being too optimistic.

 For why would you want to believe that this regime will worry about things that are good for the people beyond themselves?

 Are they going to exorcise the devil of extravagant foreign trips, luxury cars, corruption, thievery, exotic holidays, tenderpreneurship and those other unnecessary expenditures? 

  •  Tawanda Majoni writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted on [email protected]

Related Topics