Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Sugarcane producers clash with Zimra

Sugarcane producers clash with Zimra

sugar-cane-plantationSugarcane producers in Chiredzi have clashed with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority over their bank accounts that were garnished to recover outstanding tax arrears.

The Zimbabwe Commercial Sugar Cane Producers Association (ZCSCPA) has since approached the High Court to recover about $500 000 which the association claims was unjustifiably taken from farmers.

Chairman of the association, Mr Simba Nyemba, said they were “shocked” to learn that Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) had garnished some farmers’ bank accounts without consulting them.

“We were shocked to realise that some bank accounts of our members were now in negative after the tax collector garnished funds. We had no option but to approach the court to recover the money,” he said.

“We approached the High Court seeking an interdict which was granted but ZIMRA is still holding on to the money. The garnished money, if not returned, will reduce some of the sugar cane farmers to mere beggars.

“This is the money we have been banking on for us to remain afloat hence if it’s not returned the sugar growing business will never be the same,” he said.

Mr Nyemba claimed that farmers did not owe the tax collector.

“As sugar cane producers we sell our product to Tongaat Huletts and ZIMRA will take its share from there.

“We have been made to believe that Tongaat Huletts pays us our money after all deductions have been made and therefore we maintain that we do not owe ZIMRA any money,” he said.

Tongaat Huletts is the country’s sole sugar milling giant. ZIMRA declined to comment on the issue.

However, Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said he was not aware of the impasse between farmers and ZIMRA.

“I am not aware of this problem but as Government we would want to balance the issue of tax payment and the viability of farmers,” he said.

However, it was gathered ZIMRA is determined to recover taxes owed by firms as the parastatal battles to raise enough money for the government in order to pay civil servants their annual bonuses.

The country’s civil servants, except soldiers, have not been paid. – CAJ News.


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