By Daniel Chigundu
SOUTHERTON legislator Gift Chimanikire has urged government to introduce property tax for people who are building mansions but whose source of funding is questionable.
Huge mansions and Villas have been steadily sprouting in the country’s leafy suburbs at a time when the majority of citizens are struggling to make a living.
Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere is reportedly building a three storey building, with an elevator and has more than 50 rooms, while maverick Prophet and United Family International Church leader Emmanuel Makandiwa is also building a huge structure in also in Glen Lorne which is sometimes mistake for a hotel. Some of the houses are even bigger than that of Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa, Phelekezela Mphoko and even that of former Prime Minister in the inclusive government Morgan Tsvangirai.
Speaking in Parliament recently Chimanikire said it is high time that tax laws are protected if the country is to move forward.
“It is important that we look for solutions, number one solution is scrapping of the Indegenisation Bill. Let us swallow our pride, it is not bearing fruit and it only allowed a few individuals to build 50 bed roomed houses.
“We must be mad, not even the Queen of England has such a house. Here we are, the queen of England was robbing us and all the colonies and building overseas but she never built a 50 roomed house. Here in Zimbabwe people do that.
“We should also introduce property tax. If I build a $100 million house, you must check where my income came from and you must make sure that I paid tax equivalent to $100million in my pocket. I am using the difference. Did I pay tax for what I accumulated?
“So let us wake up as Zimbabwean legislators and come up with laws that actually make sure we are protecting people out there. We make taxation laws and if we do not protect them it means we do not deserve to be here, we should all resign en masse and join them in the streets so that we suffer the way they are suffering and we will realise that we were brought here by those people who voted us in,” said Chimanikire.
Suspended Zimra boss Gershen Pasi in 2014 told parliament that his organisation was working with the Deeds Office to create a data base of the property sector to ensure that developers and home owners are complying with taxation laws.
It is widely believed that most high ranking government officials or those that are connected to them are evading taxes, a development which has seen Zimra failing to meet its revenue collection targets.