By Bustop TV
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, (ZimRights) on Tuesday filed an information request on “Tax Holidays” with ZIMRA and the Ministry of Finance.
This follows the granting of tax holidays to several corporations in the mining sector. ZimRights requested this information citing its importance in pursuit of transparency and accountability as envisioned in the country’s constitution.
“In terms of section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act, [Chapter 10:33] any citizen can request the disclosure of government policy and other information in the public interest. The law requires that every public entity, public commercial entity or holder of a statutory office SHALL have a written information disclosure policy through which it discloses information in the interests of public accountability or that is required for the exercise or protection of a right.
“ZimRights is convinced that both ZIMRA or/and the Ministry of finance are the custodians of information relating to the granting of tax holidays to certain corporations. It is in this light that ZimRights has written to these public entities requesting for information in this regard,” reads the statement.
Government recently granted a five-year tax holiday to Great Dyke Investments, a platinum mine operation. The move raised eyebrows as the mining sector is regarded as a key contributor to fiscal revenue for the country as outlined in the $12 billion mining economy roadmap and Vision 2030.
The Mines and Minerals Act impels the government to publicly release drafts of mining companies including their development, operation, and financial planning.
Failure by the public to access such critical information especially on the warranting of tax exemption, there will be distrust between government and citizens with regards to tax practices.