Fellow blogger ZIMDEV paints a bleak picture for casual cross border traders – Cross border trade has been the lifeline for many unemployed Zimbabweans who make a living buying and selling goods from various neighbouring countries. Late last year, the Zimbabwean government together with the Zimbabwe Revenue authority have introduces a ban on the use of the $300 rebate on most goods. The new tariffs are quite steep and leave no room for profit for the traders. Cross border traders, fed the nation when Zimbabwean shops were empty. They travel across borders, bringing in goods that are not available in Zimbabwe and play a vital role in the economy. One visit to Beitbridge will prove just how vital the cross border trade is to Zimbabwe. It is disheartening to see the government’s reaction to cross border trade.
Instead of enabling and facilitating trade, the government is stifling and discouraging trade and enterprise. Importers of blankets, footwear, refrigerators, stoves and other electrical gadgets now pay 40% of the purchasing price plus a flat rate of US$5 per unit as duty. Government is also now charging between 10% and 25% duty on basic commodities such as maize meal, cooking oil, potato chips, baked beans and mixed fruit jam. The consignment of goods is also charged according to the weight of the goods, each kilo being charged at $3. Cross border trade has been dealt a heavy blow.
While continental and regional efforts wax lyrical about future ‘free trade’ in the Africa, domestic efforts and policy appear to be in contradiction, or perhaps the political utterances at regional trade and AU conferences are mere hot air! Read the full article here! Surely this should be a case for closer diplomatic collaboration between Zimbabwe and its neighbours, or are the ‘cross border traders’ the enemy?
- Zimbabwe Industry slams ASYCUDA (mpoverello.wordpress.com)
- Botswana deports 2 thousand Illegal Zimbabwean immigrants in 2 months (gabzfmnews.wordpress.com)
- Zimbabwe outlaws sale of used knickers (guardian.co.uk)