Minister distances himself from Diaspora Tax proposals

There has been massive reports in the media that Mr Biti has proposed taxing diasporans in exchange to dual citizenship and voting rights.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday Minister Biti said “ The document in question is a rich and respectable but I don’t agree and neither do I support their proposal to tax Zimbabweans in the Diaspora in return for dual citizenship and voting rights. I don’t agree with that. As a government we can only encourage our Children out there to invest in their country” he said.

Minister Biti emphasized that there was no point in arm-twisting the Diaspora when the country was already benefitting from their inflows. He said in 2009 alone Diasporans injected USD$ 159 million into the economy, a devlopment which he said needed acknowledgement and appreciation. The money was sent to families through agencies such as Western Union and Money gram

“What we can enourage Zimbabweans in the Diaspora is to invest in their home country. Naturally they are the ones who must benefit from the abundant resources. If they fail to do so they may find South Africans benefiting at their expense. We don’t want that to happen” Biti said.

Last week it has been widely reported in the media that Biti had allegedly produced a document in which he had proposed to tax Diasporans in return for dual citizenship and voting rights. The news had sparked anger among Diasporans who felt that it was tantamount to selling them their rights.

In fact, Biti was a merely presenting the said academic document which was prepared by Zimbabweans based in Manchester, United Kingdom. The document is titled Moving Forward in Zimbabwe Reducing Poverty and Promoting Growth and carries many proposals cutting across all sectors of the economy. ZimDiaspora