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176 Zimra officers fired for corruption

by Staff reporter
20 Feb 2020 at 05:25hrs | Views
ONE-HUNDRED-AND-SEVENTY-SIX Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officers were either suspended or dismissed between 2016 and last year for allegedly smuggling 433 vehicles into the country, according to a recent Zimra Integrity Management Report.

Among the affected workers are six data capture clerks, 14 revenue officers, 10 supervisors, seven unregistered clearing agents, one police officer while one incident was recorded under crossfire smuggling.

"Six data capturing clerks were suspended on allegations of smuggling 400 vehicles, while 14 revenue officers were axed for smuggling 70 vehicles.

"Seven unregistered clearing agents were nabbed after they allegedly cleared 11 vehicles and 10 supervisors were implicated for the smuggling of two vehicles. Data capturing clerks have the highest impact on vehicles that are imported into the country without payment of duty. They are now a corruption hotspot," reads the report.

The report says a police officer was implicated for allegedly smuggling a vehicle while one vehicle is said to have illegally entered the country through crossfire smuggling. According to the report, at least 433 vehicles were found to be fraudulently registered and 108 vehicles have since been seized by Zimra.

"About 485 vehicles were identified as having been fraudulently registered; 52 of these had data capturing errors that were verified and found to have been correctly cleared; 433 of these were finally published in the print media calling for owners to report to Zimra for verification of the clearance details."

The report indicates that the project will make a huge impact on revenue collection.

"It is estimated that $70 000 000 will be recovered directly from this project. The project is expected to improve compliance which will be a major factor in the long term."

Zimra head corporate communications Mr Francis Chimanda said the organisation was instituting security measures to curb revenue leaks.

"The authority reviewed the vehicle clearance system and recommended replacement of manual clearance systems with electronic clearance system. This is now underway.

"The authority also constituted an integrity committee whose main responsibility is to ensure systems are continuously reviewed to plug loopholes. The authority is adopting a proactive approach and ensure that opportunities for corruption are eliminated," he said.

He also said 182 vehicles impounded during a joint Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and Zimra operation are not included among the 433.

However, he said the 11 Zimra officers recently arrested by ZACC are included in the 176. The recently launched joint operation by the anti-graft body and the tax collector is targeting 2 400 vehicles suspected to have been smuggled in recent months with most of them now being sold by car dealers.

ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said the country was prejudiced of foreign currency through excise duty evasion and they were working on measures to curb such activities.

"We signed an MoU with Zimra to collaborate in the fight against graft and these are some of the fruits."

Source - the herald