- Published on 29 July 2014
- Written by dailynews
I read with interest that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) will target the rich to find out where they got the money to build the mansions that are sprouting in Harare.
This is a good idea, provided that this exercise starts from the top then down to the ordinary citizens of this country.
Zimra should first start with top government officials to account for the number of mansions they have.
The rich in this country are mostly top government officials who have huge salary perks and have access to bank loans which the ordinary people do not have.
If Zimra commissioner general Gershem Pasi is really serious about this exercise, he should look at the number of houses owned by those with access to public funds.
But from past experiences in this country, this exercise will most likely target those who are not politically connected.
The reason why I am saying this is because there have been many senior government officials who have been investigated for awarding themselves huge salary perks in various boards and are still doing so despite the exposure.
The top officials whom Pasi stated at one time that they had not paid the required taxes, but to date we have not heard if anything had been done to make sure that these officials pay the required taxes.
We have only heard of Munyaradzi Kereke’s Rock Foundation Medical Centre’s tax woes and nothing of others.
The government has also been talking about doing a land audit so that government officials declare their wealth or the number of farms they have but this has not materialised to date.
The above examples show that top government officials are untouchable and this exercise will only target ordinary citizens.
This would be unfair to them if this exercise goes in that direction.
If the taxman is earnest in doing this exercise, this should start at the top going downwards instead of using the bottom-up approach.