Signs of Hope Trust Applauds Government for Eliminating VAT on Assistive Devices

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Signs of Hope Trust expressed its appreciation to the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion (MOFEDIP) for its recent decision to eliminate Value Added Tax (VAT) on Assistive Technologies. This positive development was made official through the Value Added Tax (General) (Amendment) Regulations, 2024 (No.67), which were gazetted on 09 February 2024.
Assistive Devices are not mere luxury items or optional accessories; they are essential tools that enable individuals to attain independence and actively participate in society. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Zimbabwe ratified in 2013, recognizes that assistive devices are a fundamental human right and should be accessible to all who require them. Unfortunately, due to various barriers such as limited awareness, procurement challenges, inadequate policy frameworks, and insufficient funding, the majority of individuals in need of Assistive Devices currently lack access.
To achieve the goals outlined in Vision 2030, every individual must have the opportunity to fully participate in the country’s development.
Samantha Sibanda, the Director of Signs of Hope Trust, said the Ministry’s decision to remove VAT on Assistive Technologies is highly commendable and aligns with the national agenda of inclusivity, ensuring that no one and no place is left behind.
Signs of Hope remains dedicated to advocating for improved access to Assistive Technology and the promotion of disability-responsive budgets.
“In particular, we have recently completed a study on the accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) by persons with disabilities which we believe will be instrumental as a reference where such data on access to ICTs by Persons with Disabilities is required by stakeholders.
“We will continue to disseminate budget-related information widely, with a particular focus on reaching the individuals with disabilities whom we serve.
“Looking ahead, we appeal to consumer protection bodies to ensure strict adherence to regulations governing the cost of Assistive Devices. It is essential that numerous consumers with disabilities are not taken advantage of, and that the prices of these devices remain fair and accessible to all.
“We extend our gratitude to the Ministry of Finance,  Economic Development, and Investment Promotion for this positive step, and we remain committed to working together to create a more inclusive and equitable society,” Sign of Hope Trust said in a statement.