High Court Judge Justice Happias Zhou has reserved judgment in the matter where Tendai Biti and pro-democracy activist Mfundo Mlilo were seeking an order to suspend the unilateral imposition of the electronic tax by the Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, implemented late last year. This means written judgement will be delivered at a later date after the judge careful considers merits.
Justice Happias Zhou on Tuesday presided over the hearing and determination of an application filed by Mlindo and Biti seeking an order to suspend the imposition of electronic transactions.
In the application filed in October 2018 by Tendai Biti, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Mfundo Mlilo, a pro-democracy activist, argued that government’s decision, which is now being implemented by service operators, was made by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube without the necessary backing of the law in particular the amendment of the income tax or the regulation of the tax in a statutory instrument.
Mlilo has argued that although Ncube had on Friday 12 October 2018 belatedly enacted the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated Monetary Transfer Tax) Regulation Statutory Instrument (SI205/2018) in which he sought to legalise and actualise his announcement done on 1 October 2018, the statutory instrument still remained unconstitutional and a nullity for a Minister cannot in regulations amend an Act of Parliament.
According to Mlilo, the High Court should suspend the decision taken by Ncube on 1 October 2018 to review the Intermediate Money Transfer Tax and to also forthwith suspend the Finance (Rate and Incidence of Intermediated Money Transfer Tax) Regulations published in SI205/2018.