Zimbabwe Human Rights Association has filed a formal request for the release of information on tax holidays from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development amid reports of possible corrupt practices by government officials.
The move comes after a US-based group, Sentry, published a Shadows and Shell Games report that uncovered an offshore business empire that exposed corrupt practices by Zimbabwean government officials.
According to a statement by ZimRights, in terms of section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act, any citizen can request the disclosure of government policy and other information in the public interest.
The law requires that every public entity, public commercial entity or holder of a statutory office shall have a written information disclosure policy through which it discloses information in the interests of public accountability or that is required for the exercise or protection of a right.
“ZimRights is convinced that both or one of them ZIMRA and or the Ministry of finance are the custodians of information relating to the granting of tax holidays to certain corporates. It is in this light that ZimRights has written to these public entities requesting the following information,” said the statement.
The human rights body requested a written information disclosure policy in terms of section 5 of the Freedom of Information Act if any and particulars of the tax exemption policy in force especially the type, and business sector of persons, including corporate persons exempt from liability for corporate or other income tax in Zimbabwe.
ZimRights also requested information on the criteria used to assess eligibility for granting of tax exemption to corporate entities for the period 2019 to date along with a register of tax-exempt corporate entities or individuals and an updated copy of the register of exempt persons.
Rumors are that Great Dyke Investments which was granted a tax holiday has strong links to controversial businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei but is legally owned by Kuvimba Mining House Ltd.