PRO-DEMOCRACY activist Mfundo Mlilo has hauled Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to the High court seeking an order to suspend the imposition of the 2% electronic transactions tax.
Ncube introduced the tax two weeks ago in his Transitional Stabilisation Programme which was effected last Friday, triggering a wave of price hikes, as the market responded to the new measures.
In a High Court application filed by Tendai Biti, of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the pro-democracy activist argued that government’s decision was made by Ncube without the necessary backing of the law, in particular the amendment of the income tax or the regulation of the tax in a statutory instrument.
Mlilo argued that although Ncube had on Friday October 12, 2018 belatedly enacted the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated Monetary Transfer Tax) Regulations Statutory Instrument (SI205/2018), in which he sought to legalise and actualise his announcement done on October 1, 2018, the statutory instrument still remained unconstitutional and a nullity.
A minister cannot, according to laws, amend an Act of Parliament, Mlilo argued.
The activist wants the High Court to suspend the decision taken by Ncube to review the intermediate money transfer tax from five cents per transaction to two cents per dollar.
He also wants the immediate suspension of the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated Money Transfer Tax) Regulations published in SI205/2018.