By Idah Mhetu
Condom distributors have called on government to scrap VAT and duty on contraception to make them more affordable to ordinary Zimbabweans.
Speaking during the International Condom Day commemorations in Harare on Thursday, Magna Chawira, a pharmacist, said the imposition of duty on condoms also affected pricing on the imported product.
Chawira further said prices were recently hiked by 20 percent, something she said will force distributors to also hike the retail price, making life even more difficult for end users.
“We are advocating exemption on tax and duty just like what Zambia is doing… so that it can be accessible to everyone as we advocate zero tolerance to new HIV infections,” she said.
“Pricing of our products has become stiff considering the current economic situation and the product is imported.”
Ministry of Health, Director AIDS and TB Unit, Owen Mugurungi concurred, saying they were ready to lobby for the reduction or complete scrapping of duty on contraceptives.
“Condoms are regarded as an essential commodity for the prevention of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted infections.
“So we will try and lobby for either the reduction of duty or the total elimination of duty and also charge very little VAT because there is a lot of people downstream who will benefit,” he said.