CLAIM: Zimbabwe’s government plans to introduce a diaspora tax and generate revenue from non-resident citizens.
Source: Online news site www.thezimbabwenewslive.com
VERDICT: False. A government spokesperson has said there is no such tax proposal. A fiscal policy statement issued by the Finance Minister on Friday, October 5 2018, the same day the article was published, makes no reference to a diaspora tax.
By ZimFact Staff
Online news site, www.thezimbabwenewslive.com was alone in publishing a story headlined: Zimbabwe Government to Launch Diaspora Tax Targeting More Than 4 Million Citizens.
The article quickly went viral and was reproduced on social media platforms Twitter and WhatsApp, stoking public outrage already inflamed by another tax on electronic transfers.
Government adjusted a 15 year old tax on electronic payments from 5 cents per transaction to 2 cents per dollar transacted, for payments above $10. Payments above $500,000 will attract a flat $10,000 tax, while a range of business payments, including salary disbursements, are exempted.
Citing unnamed senior government sources, www.thezimbabwenewslive.com reported that “the government has started working on modalities after Finance Minister presented his budget review last week to make sure that each member of the Zimbabwean Diaspora community pay between US$25 to US$100 per month depending on where they are based.”
‘NO SUCH PLANS’
On Friday, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube presented a detailed 388-page economic policy document, covering October 2018 to December 2020.
Ncube’s raft of revenue measures does not include taxing non-resident Zimbabwean citizens.
Information Ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana also took to Twitter on Saturday morning to set the record straight.
“Having received many messages from the good Zimbabwean people living in the Diaspora asking about some alleged “Diaspora Tax”, I spoke to my bro Perm Secretary for Finance Mr George Guvamatanga who confirmed there is no such a tax and no thinking along those lines,” Mangwana tweeted.
www.thezimbabwenewslive site’s article has been proved to be false by both a government spokesperson and the Finance Minister’s official policy document for the next two and a quarter years.