THE Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation (Ziso) has threatened to resist government plans to collect Aids levy from players in the informal sector saying the move would condemn most of them to abject poverty.
BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA
In a statement at the weekend, Ziso said the move was a bad one for jobless people who had joined the informal sector to eke out a living following the closure of most of the country’s factories.
“There is no doubt that the levy is of so much importance to about a million patients who are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) or those on the waiting list,” the statement read.
“It is, however, noteworthy to state that the majority of the people in the informal sector are there as a result of the government’s failure to create employment and other economic opportunities in the formal sector.
“The government should proactively devise strategies to support formalisation and boost the operations of the informal sector. By taxing the informal sector, the government risks compelling the groups who need the most assistance to pay for their own support while the rich are spared the burden.”
The organisation said government should address the scourge of corruption and introduce new measures to revive the collapsed industrial sector in order to boost its revenue base.
“We recommend that government should arrest chronic levels of corruption and unaccountability that has characterised the National Aids Trust Fund over the years and double efforts towards employment creation, revamping of industry and commerce and economic recovery,” it said.
The government recently widened its tax base after failing to pay key institutions including civil servants salaries due to a shrinking revenue base.