By William Milasi
A legislator has said the country’s taxing regime demotivate investors to undertake corporate social responsibility activities.
Gweru Urban Member of Parliament Brian Dube addressing journalist in Gweru last week said need to come up with a comprehensive reform agenda and a proper legislation to see to it that there is a win win situation between investors and communities.
“The manner in which we tax in Zimbabwe is not motivating for an investor, this is so because there is a lot of reaping on that part of investors,” he said.
Looking at the issue of corporate social responsibility Dube said as a way of motivating investors to do more for society there must be instances of tax exemptions.
“We must put in place mechanisms or a rebate system in which an investor will be exempted from certain taxes when they make capital projects of giving back to the community. That way they will do more for the communities they are investing in.
“They must be reduction in taxes looking at the capital investment in giving back to the community,” he said.
He cited corruption, abuse and insensitivity as some of the reasons for the punishing tax burden on the investors.
“We are really not motivating investors to do more for communities in which they are operating. We need to come up with a comprehensive reform to make social responsibility to be attractive for investors. We are however, failing in that area because of corruption, abuse and insensitivity.”
The law maker said in most instances companies are thinking they have given back to communities when they have instead given money to powerful individuals in communities.
“Many companies think they have given back to the community after giving money to certain individuals who we be purporting to represent communities. Those given such monies are usually powerful in the provinces and you will not be able to trace the money.
“The little given must benefit the intended recipients in communities and they must be penalties for misusing money meant fro community development. There is need to come up with a comprehensive reform agenda and a proper legislation. When investors make such undertakings we must show that we are a kind of society that abides by the rule of law and that shun corruption,” he said.
Dube further added that it was lack of transparency and accountability which led to failures in community share ownership schemes.
“Under the indeginization act we had the community share ownership schemes were the company willl be giving back to the community unfortunately the mechanisms did not work because of the politicisation of the program and incompetence.
“It never benefitted the intended beneficiaries. The only thing we ended up having were the fights between chiefs and politicians in those areas,” he said.