Business and Technology

What an eyesore: Desperate govt imposes 15% tax on spectacles

Zimbabweans on social media are disgruntled following an announcement that the Government has imposed a 15% tax on spectacles.

The Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Prof Mthuli Ncube, presented the 2024 budget in November last year.

Alongside disbursing funds to different ministries, he also announced a myriad of new taxes that would burden Zimbabweans.

The Minister announced a hike in the passport fees and a rise in the toll fees for motorists. He also announced a new wealth tax, another on sugar and a tax on vehicle importation.

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Because of the new taxes, many companies have raised the prices of their products. Bread is now ranging from US$ 1.20 to US$ 1.30.

To increase the revenue collected in the country, the Government has also introduced a 15% tax on all spectacle frames and lenses.

Prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono reported on his social media:

“Bad news for Zimbabweans who wear spectacles: out of desperation caused by misplaced political and economic policies and grand corruption, the Zimbabwean Government has added a 15% tax on all spectacle frames and lenses. This will push up the price of spectacles by not only 15%; The Zimbabwean Government is also charging another extra 5% customs duty tax, which makes the frames and lenses 20% more expensive from today. Call it the Eye Tax, what a shame!”

Social media users expressed reservations about the new 15% tax on spectacles.


“Sometimes I’m tempted to say, “We deserve this government”. How can we allow such to happen, and we all normalise it and wait for another draconian policy? Is it fear or selfishness?”


“This is terrible.”


“I, for one, suffer from astigmatism. I can actually say I am disabled and need spectacles to correct this deformity. Why should people like myself then be punished for our disability? What’s next? Are they also going to tax prostheses, skin care products for albinos, etc?”


“By the of year, those ladies in the avenues will be taxed, I tell you.”

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