VILLAGERS under the Umguza Rural District Council are complaining about a regime of taxes that the local authority has introduced lately saying they are money generating schemes from the already suffering villagers.
They said these taxes are reflective of the colonial era where inconsiderate taxes were introduced to the black majority to suppress them.
They said the district council has re-adopted them against its own people.
Radio Dialogue citizen journalist in the area, Sifiso Lubimbi, said the villagers are infuriated by these developments and want them to be reconsidered with immediate effect.
“There is an issue of maliciously generating income from the people that the local authorities have come up with. The Umguza Rural District has revived the slavery taxes that once existed in the colonial era as a way to suppress the black majority, said Lubimbi.
“Now they are doing it to its own people, they are saying scorch carts and bicycles should pay a tax of $2 a year and poverty stricken villagers can’t afford all that much as our main priority is food and clothing.”
He said stand taxes have recorded a ridiculous rise and they fear that they might end up introducing other taxes of malice in the colonial era such as the ‘dog tax’.
“Those with stands they have risen them from $2 to $5 dollars and now what they will end up doing is bringing back the dog tax,” said Lubimbi.
Meanwhile, politicians are also said to be using food aid programmes to gain political mileage ahead of the coming 2018 polls.
He said they also use it to generate money from villagers who are supposed to benefitting from the programme free of charge.
“There is also another issue of gaining votes for the coming polls by politicians of the ruling party in the area,
“There is rice that is given to villagers every month, the councillors demand $5 from 5 people who share one bag of rice I think this is also some income generating project that councillors have engaged in so that they profiteer from the struggling villagers. On the other hand only $1 is paid for a bag of maize,” he added.
Areas under Umguza Rural District Council include Ntabazinduna, Nyamandlovu, Hope Fountain, Cement Siding among many others.