President Mnangagwa's government has thrown a lifeline to its restive workers by operationalising a law that will ensure that those with a minimum 10 years in service can import vehicles duty-free, a week after the workers threatened a crippling job action over salaries.
However, there is a catch to the condition.
There should be an application letter for rebate, confirmation of employment from the responsible permanent secretary, a driver’s licence and the car should not be over 10 years old, according to the notice.
“Only private vehicles allowed, no commercials like trucks, kombis and panel vans,” part of the notice reads.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has formally written to its agents at the border posts advising them that government workers with at least 10 years’ service could now import personal cars duty-free.
The facility will now be active nearly two months after government, through a statutory instrument, introduced the car scheme, but Zimra had not effected it, claiming they had not received the formal orders.
Civil servants who have been trying to get duty-free cars have been hitting the brick wall, as government took time to operationalise the law.
A top official in the Finance ministry, who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity, said they could not start the process without a circular from the Finance minister to other ministries.
“Government departments operate on circulars. In the absence of that, nobody can do anything, but now there is movement”, he said.
The Zimra website still has no reference to the policy and only points to rebate for the disabled only.
Statutory Instrument (SI) 52 of 2019 spells out how the deal, thus: “The secretary responsible for Finance and Economic Development may, according to his discretion, grant rebate of duty on a motor vehicle with a maximum import value of US$10 000 being imported by any serving public servant of Zimbabwe who has been in service for a period of no less than 10 years.”