via ZIMRA descends on vendors | The Zimbabwean 3 September 2014 by Sofia Mapuranga
The police have embarked on a campaign in Chitungwiza advising vendors to register with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and pay a dollar a day in tax to boost empty government coffers.
The campaign was described by vendors as a deliberate ploy by the ZIMRA to worsen the plight of the poor. “We are hardly making any profit from our small business ventures and for me to afford to pay $1 in taxes daily is going to be a challenge,” said an airtime vendor from Unit D in Seke.
“The best way is for us to be operating from home because unlike in town where business is brisk, we hardly get $5 profit of which my family of six is dependent on that income,” said Garikai Mutongwizo from Huruyadzo in St Mary’s.
Kurirai Fungura said taxing vendors from the ‘ghetto’ was a herculean task as that they would find all means of evading paying the money.
“It is not like we do not want to pay, buy why is government failing to come up with other fundraising mechanisms instead of hunting us where we are struggling to make a living?” queried Fungura.
A statement issued by the Harare City Council last week revealed that the local authority in partnership with the ZIMRA would start collecting taxes from vendors.
Charges for flea market vendors were pegged at $2 daily and fruit, vegetable, airtime, newspapers and dried food vendors are expected to part with $1. “Designating and approving convenient vending sites is expected to not only increase revenue collection by the city council, but also bring sanity and orderliness in the city,” says the statement.
Other vendors said it was important for Chitungwiza Town Council to scrap its vending charges considering that ZIMRA would also be collecting taxes.
The closure of numerous companies over the past few years due to the harsh economic environment has seen hundreds of thousands of people resort to vending for survival.