Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa says new electronic tax is a necessary price for recovery

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa said a new tax on electronic payments which led citizens into panic buying over the weekend was a painful but necessary part of the government’s attempts to revive the economy.

Throwing his weight behind the reforms introduced by the Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, Mnangagwa who is trying to put the Zimbabwean economy back on track, said with the scale of the challenges facing the country, the government’s plan is bold and far reaching  and will have the desired effect.

The Finance Minister had last week announced a new tax on electronic payments which made citizens to start stocking up supplies, with oil companies also temporarily stopping fuel delivery because of the impact of the tax. Thus, prices have shot up over the past few days.

President Mnangagwa said he has read the comments of Zimbabweans on the current situation of things in the country and understands the difficulties they are facing, hence the government would do its best to address them.

“We are already taking the lead by cutting back on unnecessary spending,” the president said, adding that “the only way to a stronger economy is to restructure, rebuild and reform”.

However, he asked that Zimbabweans be realistic and not expect any quick fixes.

“We are on a shared journey to a better and more secure future.  The road is long, winding and at times bumpy, but there is no other way. This is the road to a middle-income economy, and if we travel it together, with patience and purpose, we will realise our vision,” President Mnangagwa said.

The Finance Minister Ncube had on 1 October announced a 2 percent tax on electronic payments, with the money realised planned to be used to construct roads and improve both the health and education sectors. However, Zimbabweans rejected the tax, saying the government was imposing excessive tax to fund its excesses.