Government has fixed up to US$10 000 worth of vehicle that civil servants can import duty free while Members of Parliament will now be allowed to import two vehicles duty free as the Second Republic seeks to improve conditions of its workers.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube has set up to US$10 000 duty free vehicles for deputy directors and below while legislators will now be allowed to import two, instead of just one vehicle during the life of their five year term.
The benchmarks that have been set range from US$3 500 up to US$10 000 while legislators will have to import a second vehicle of up to US$60 000.
This is contained in separate Statutory Instruments of a Government Gazette published last Friday in terms of the Customs and Excise Act. The regulations will apply to all Members of the National Assembly, Senators, Speaker of the National Assembly and President of Senate and their deputies.
“A serving Member of Parliament shall be allowed to import not more than two vehicles under rebate in terms of this section within the life of the current Parliament. Provided that the maximum allowable value of the second motor vehicle under this rebate shall not exceed US$60 000,” reads the regulations.
Commenting on the new facility, Zanu PF Chief Whip, Cde Pupurai Togarepi said the new regulations would go a long way in enhancing legislators’ representative role.
“The facility will obviously help legislators to effectively discharge their representative role. It will enable them to travel the length and breadth of their constituencies. As you know Members of Parliament were entitled to import one duty free vehicle which is Government funded and the second one will be self-funded,” said Cde Togarepi.
“Government has merely responded to the needs of MPs to be able to get to all corners of their constituencies.”
On rebate of vehicle duty for specified public servants, Prof Ncube said the facility will only be enjoyed by those who are not senior civil servants.
“Subject to this section, a rebate of duty shall be granted in respect of one motor vehicle imported or taken out of bond by a serving public servant of Zimbabwe who is employed in the Civil Service and Service Commissions and who is not a senior civil servant issued with a condition of service motor vehicle and is not under any disciplinary proceedings,” reads the regulations.
The imported vehicle must be less than 10 years from date of manufacture at the time of importation, either procured using a loan availed under the Transport Purchase Fund managed by CMED or through one’s own resources.
Those vehicles designed to ferry 15 or more people and with weight exceeding five tonnes will not be allowed under the facility as it should solely for the private and business use of the serving public servant and not for commercial or trade purposes.
“The public servant must have been in the Civil Service or Service Commissions for a period of not less than 10 years in the case of any motor vehicles to be purchased after 31st March, 2022,” read the regulations.
Commenting on the facility, Apex council member and Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive, Dr Sifiso Ndlovu said they were part of Government initiated non-monetary benefits.
He commended the Second Republic for making practical efforts under difficult circumstances.
“The policy is a positive which if utilised will go a long way in helping civil servants. It is part of our collective bargaining agreement where we said there ought to be non-monetary benefits. There are some civil servants who have extra remuneration outside their formal work and might have extra resources that they can utilise to import a vehicle,” he said.