BY METHEMBE SIBANDA
LEGISLATORS have called on government to respect the Constitution and stop behaving hike a monarchy where leaders rule by decree. This follows the recent government directive on banks to stop lending until further notice.
Harare East MP Tendai Biti criticised the ban on lending, saying it was unconstitutional and lacked economic sense.
“We cannot rule by decree. This is not a monarchy. How can we wake up as Members of Parliament to be told that banks have been banned? It is unconstitutional (and) we should hold the powers that be to account,” he said.
Biti said the increase in capital gains tax on trades under 270 days from 20% to 40% required amendment of the Income Tax Act and only Parliament could do that.
“Parliament has not passed such an amendment. The increase of intermediated money transfer on United States dollars from 50 cents to 4% also requires an amendment to section 22(G) of the Income Tax Act.
“Only this Parliament can do that and we have not done that. So my point of clarification is why the minister is taking and announcing measures which have not been anchored on law and changed by Parliament,” Biti said.
Gutu South MP Pupurai Togarepi (Zanu PF) urged government to put in place measures that allow citizens to continue borrowing.
“As a short-term measure, I feel it is working, but in the long term it may have challenges. Let us find a way that will allow people to borrow as usual and the banking system to do its work.
“We need to encourage a situation whereby people bank their money and realise that it is a risk to be using the US dollar as a country because we cannot manage its supply in our market,” Togarepi said.
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