Airtime Tax Raises $6m For Health Sector But Ministry Has No Clue On What To With Windfall

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The Ministry of Health and Child Care has received $6 million from airtime tax and it is working on how the money would be utilised, it has emerged.

Zimbabwe's street vendors turn on the style to win customers Farai Mutsaka, Associated Press Updated 12:47 am, Tuesday, October 11, 2016 In this Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 photo, Gilbert Mundicha, a street vendor, performs while selling mobile phone airtime vouchers to motorists in a wealthy multi-racial suburbs in Harare, Zimbabwe. "My antics are meant to cultivate a personal relationship with customers," said Mundicha, who dances, makes military salutes and greets nearly every passing motorist while mimicking what he described as a "British accent." Massive joblessness in this once-prosperous southern African country has forced many to flood the streets, where they hawk anything from medicines to car parts. A good gimmick can help a vendor stand out from the crowd. Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP / Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP

Zimbabwe’s street vendors turn on the style to win customers
Farai Mutsaka, Associated Press Updated 12:47 am, Tuesday, October 11, 2016
In this Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 photo, Gilbert Mundicha, a street vendor, performs while selling mobile phone airtime vouchers to motorists in a wealthy multi-racial suburbs in Harare, Zimbabwe. “My antics are meant to cultivate a personal relationship with customers,” said Mundicha, who dances, makes military salutes and greets nearly every passing motorist while mimicking what he described as a “British accent.” Massive joblessness in this once-prosperous southern African country has forced many to flood the streets, where they hawk anything from medicines to car parts. A good gimmick can help a vendor stand out from the crowd. Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP / Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP

Government introduced a five percent excise duty on airtime in 2014 as a measure to enhance revenue to meet its expenditure obligations.

Speaking during a family planning symposium held in Harare last Friday as the country celebrated the World Population Day, Principal Director Preventive Services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Gibson Mhlanga, said they had since received the funds from Treasury.

“Where I talked about earmarked taxes, we know recently as ministry we were allocated about 2,5 percent of the tax that is raised from airtime,” he said.

“To date, I think we have been allocated about $6 million and as ministry we are in discussion in terms of how that money that has been raised is going to be utilised and certainly I hope that my colleagues within the ministry will see it fit for us to allocate some of that money towards family planning services.”

The details emerged during a discussion on how the country was working towards funding health services such as family planning.

Dr Mhlanga said plans to mobilise resources locally for the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) were in motion.

“We need to look at how we can be able to mobilise resources in the country for ZNFPC,” he said.

“There has also been an engagement with the National Aids Council. It is a home-grown solution and we feel we should be able to motivate them into allocating a bit of money to go towards family planning services.”-zp

 

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