Opposition legislator Priscillah Misihairabwi-Mushonga says the government must come up with more innovative ways of taxing the rich instead of overburdening the poor with the 2 percent tax that was introduced this month.
Contributing to the President’s speech yesterday, she said: “The issue around taxation, I do agree with a lot of people who have a problem with the 2% tax. I am saying the alternative ways of taxing – we are not taxing where we need to be taxing. We need to make sure that we stop people from hoarding.
“So if you have four or five cars, we make sure that any extra car that you have is taxed. We may even introduce a swimming pool tax instead of taking tax from those who are 2% so that we begin to deal with the issue of the rich being facilitated by the poor.
“We have done it in other situations – let those who want to live well in luxury do it. We have done it with schools – those who can do well will take their children to St. Georges and those who cannot afford will take them to Government schools. Those who think they can do well will go to Avenues Clinic for treatment and those who cannot afford will go to Parirenyatwa Hospital but at the end of the day, let us not burden the poor to make sure that we are facilitating the rich.”
Misihairabwi-Mushonga also proposed that to cut the government wage bill which will consume $3.7 billion this year, civil servants could be asked to all earn $100 a month regardless of position as happened in 2009.
She also said ministers must stop holding press conferences and start working.
Below is her full contribution:
HON. MISIHARABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. Let me join the debate on the State of the Nation Address that was presented by the President in this particular House. However, since this is one of my first formal presentations, allow me to crawl a little bit. I need to crow because I stand here as one of the first woman in the National Assembly that is coming to the House on a women’s ticket over a political party that is led by a woman who trounced 17 other men in that election. I am glad that I do have that honour of doing so.
Madam Speaker, let me start by raising what I would term hygiene issues. I raise this with all due respect because myself, my political party and my principle were one of those political parties that attended the inauguration. Others attended the November inauguration; we did not. We attended the August inauguration; as you know traditionally, others attend where mwana atiza mukumbo and others attend when somebody has had a proper white wedding. So we decided to attend the other one but others went for the November which is okay and we respect positions that people have taken.
The reason why I am raising this particular point is because our attendance was to say, as a people we are going to put our hands on the wheel, participate and work with the people of Zimbabwe in order to push this country forward. Having said so, as we begin to assist; I hope that the current Government will also allow us to do a critics when things are going wrong. It is only in beginning to speak truth to power that we can change issues.
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