VAT waiver on some basic food items is now in effect in Zimbabwe

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

Day-to-day products like bread, milk, cooking oil and mealie meal exempt from 1 February as consumers struggle with food inflation.

The Government of Zimbabwe has officially gazetted the suspension of Value Added Tax (VAT) on essential food items, which became effective from 1 February 2024.

Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels

Along with most other African states, Zimbabwe is battling with skyrocketing food inflation, which is tracking well ahead of incomes. Supermarkets, smaller grocery stores and even informal traders are also feeling the pinch as consumers cut back on spending. 


Angola for example, last week implemented a VAT reduction on essential food items, cutting the tax from 14% to 5%. 


In Zimbabwe’s case, though, some basic goods are completely excluded from 15% Value Added Tax. These include bread, milk, cooking oil, mealie meal, salt, sugar and flour. 


The exemptions were announced in January by Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Mthuli Ncube, but only came into effect this month. 


Understanding of the basic necessities for households 


“The specific items covered under the exemption reflect a comprehensive understanding of the basic necessities for households,” says a statement published on the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) website.  


“By lifting the VAT on these essential food products, the government aims to ease the financial burden on citizens, ensuring that access to fundamental groceries remains affordable for all.” 


The statement continues: “This initiative aligns with the government’s commitment to supporting its citizens during challenging economic times, promoting social well-being, and fostering a stable environment for all members of the community.  


“As the VAT suspension takes effect, consumers can anticipate a positive impact on their household budgets, allowing for greater financial flexibility.” 


The website Trading Economics, citing the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe data, says the cost of food in Zimbabwe increased 60.3% in January of 2024 over the same month in the previous year.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.