The Sunday Mail
Late last year, four Zimra officers stationed at the Manyika Transit shed in Beitbridge were arrested for undervaluing vehicles and altering customs documents. The four were alleged to be working with Harare and Bulawayo car dealers who were importing vehicles daily. It was reported that the four would connive with vehicle importers to alter the vehicles’ date of manufacture so that the excise duty would be reduced in return for financial inducements.
Zimra also suspended three other officers at Beitbridge Border Post on allegations of corruption and facilitating the smuggling of huge consignments of commercial goods into the country. The goods ranged from household appliances, furniture, clothes to foodstuffs
Among those suspended was a bond supervisor and two revenue officers.
In November last year, five other officers at Beitbridge Border Post were suspended on allegations of corruption and facilitating the clearance of commercial goods into the country without permits.
Recent reports suggest such tax evasion and corruption are not only confined to Beitbridge. There have been reports of graft at Chirundu, Plumtree and Nyamapanda border posts.
Contacted for comment, Zimra chief corporate communications Officer Mr Taungana Ndoro admitted that there were leakages at border posts as a result of underhand activities.
However, he said it was difficult to quantify the extent of leakages.
“The principle of innocence of an accused person until proven guilty also subsists when dealing with members within the organisation accused of graft,” he said.
“Therefore divulging numbers (value of revenue lost) may not necessarily be a true reflection of the corruption obtaining at the border posts.”
Mr Ndoro said Zimra was rolling out various ways to curb revenue leakages.
“These measures are not numerous, but some of them include the involvement of our large clientele base so that they understand their legal obligations in terms of all fiscal laws which we administer,” he said.
A recent investigation by The Sunday Mail In-Depth revealed that a closely knit cartel involving Zimra officials, clearing agents and importers was behind the rampant corruption activities at border posts.