Zimbabwe MP says people should only pay tax for usable land


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beatrice-nyamupinga

Goromonzi West legislator Beatrice Nyamupinga says new farmers should only pay tax on usable land otherwise some would end up just making enough to pay their taxes.

She said some farmers had been given as much as 300 hectares of land but only 50 were usable, so they would have to utilise the 50 to offset the bill for 250 that were not usable.

Full contribution:

HON. NYAMUPINGA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I also want to thank the mover of this motion and the seconder.  I also want to add my voice on one item on this motion.  We understand that the Ministry of Lands will be charging taxes of about $5 or $2 per hectare on the pieces of land that people were allocated.  However, I just want to bring out the fact that some people were allocated land that is not 100% arable.  For example, some were given 300 hectares and you find that only 50 hectares is arable and the other land is hilly and you cannot even keep livestock on those hills.

When it comes to taxes, we hope the Ministry will consider such types of land so that people will not end up farming and working just to pay taxes.  This is because it means 50 hectares will have to off-set the bill for the other 250 hectares.  So, I thought I should add this on the motion.  We are grateful that we were given land but now that we have to farm and produce as required to turn around the economy of the country and also to retain the bread basket of Africa status, we need to consider that when people are paying taxes, they should pay for the land that is usable.  Whether it is for livestock or farming, it has to be usable and not just to be told that you have got a big piece of land when the vast tracts of the land is not usable.  I thought I should add my voice Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you.

Ed: In my humble opinions, this is the arrogance that has got us where we are. If you cannot use the land that you were allocated, why do you want to hold on to it?  Why not give it back to the State and let someone who can use it, use it. Land is not just for crop or livestock farming.

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The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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