Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
THERE is a need for Government tax departments to consolidate their operations for the purposes of taxing individuals and corporates to improve the ease of doing business in the country.
Addressing academics and members of the corporate world during the annual Midlands Agricultural Show breakfast meeting in Gweru last Friday, Unki Mine general manager Mr Walter Nemasase said different tax officials knocking at the doors of companies were making it difficult for investments to flow into the country.
Rather, he said Government should have one taxing body representing all the tax entities so that companies spend more time on production instead of attending to different officials from different arms such as Environmental Management Agency (Ema) and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).
“There are a lot of taxes in the country and yes, there is no country without taxes. It is a civic duty to pay taxes, but what investors want is something predictable, fair and consistent.
“When each budget comes with completely new taxes it’s difficult for business which has planned a 20-year investment.
“New tax initiatives need proper planning before they are introduced,” he said.
“Business is not calling for no taxes at all but it is saying these are long term matters for businesses and need to know what is happening.
“There is need to consolidate (taxes) into one thing, police collect fines and keep them, Zimra, EMA all come with different taxes.
“At the end of the day you have 10 taxmen at your door and you spend time attending to them instead of working and it offends a lot of people who want to invest in the country.”
Mr Nemasase said there was need to invest in big dams for constant water supplies in the wake of industrialisation.
“Water is the next problem after power. At the moment we are not realising the need for water because we only looking at it in terms of domestic use, for example, Gweru City Council are not pumping from Amapongokwe.
“If we are going into huge investments and industrialisation we need to invest in big water bodies. For water we need huge dams to support industrialisation,” he said.
In terms of power development he said industrialisation needed a lot of power adding that without power there is no business.
“We commend Government for involving independent power producers because the country needs a lot of power to industrialise. Where there is no power there is no business,” said Mr Nemasase.
Unki has one of the largest platinum reserves in Zimbabwe, estimated at 34 million ounces.
The mine produces around 64 000 ounces of platinum per year.