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My experience as a returning resident

19 Nov 2020 at 21:19hrs | Views
After spending 4 years in Namibia it was time to go back to my country Zimbabwe at the end of 2020. I announced the news to friends. Some disapproved my decision to return home while others encouraged me.

Bearing in mind my benefits as far as paying customs duties for my car, furniture and groceries, I compiled all documents needed at the border so that I benefit without any challenges with Zimra officials.

I arrived at the Victoria Falls Border at around 2pm and border officials were more than happy to serve me a returning citizen.

In order for one to benefit customs-free benefits on my car and everything my passport have to be stamped Returning Resident by immigration officials then the Zimra people will just give you customs-free on your car and other items. My problem started with the immigration official who demanded "something" in order for her to stamp my passport with a Returning Resident Stamp despite the fact that my papers were in order, nothing was missing. I qualified as a returning resident according to the law. I gave her "something" and my passport was stamped RR.

I moved to Zimra. They were happy to save me as well. After processing almost everything, scrutinizing all my papers which were inorder, they demanded US$100 inorder for them to stamp my papers. I refused to pay that money. From the time I refused to pay the money they stopped working on my papers. I went and reported to their boss that his people were corruptly demanding money from me but the supervisor refused to listen and in fact defended his juniors.

I went and reported to the police officers at the border over the corruption by Zimra officials but the police wanted something from me as well. I found out that every border official, immigration, Zimra, health officials, security and police are used to get something from returning residence at the Victoria Falls Border post.

I then decided to stage a one-man protest. I made a lot of noise such that everything came to a standstill and finally my papers were worked out and my car and property were cleared. At exactly 1200pm I left the border. A total of 10 hours stuck at the border.

After the border experience, I was welcomed by Hwange Police Station. They were not mounting a roadblock but they identified my car from the Station that it was a new car. They demanded temporary registration plates which I had forgotten to get at the border. My car was impounded. I went back to Victoria to collect the temporary plates but when I came back with the plates I found them with a new offence, they refused to release my car. It's obvious that they wanted "something" in order for them to release my car. Thanks to the dispol who ordered them to release my car.

In Murehwa my car was impounded again despite the fact that the Road Traffic Act says I can drive my car with temporary plates for 14 days but they took my car saying my car must have number plates or I must produce a receipt which shows that I have purchase number plates. I left my car to buy plates in Harare. When I returned back with a receipt showing that I have purchased number plates they claimed that my receipt was fake and refused with my car. I spent a night in Murehwa then the next morning the dispol ordered them to release my car.

There are no plates at CVR despite the fact that we are paying plates in USD and one wonders whats the problem there and the police keep on terrorising motorists on the roads for number plates which we paid for and the government is failing to deliver.

This is the experience which you will meet as a returning resident. Corruption is too much in Zimbabwe. Chihuri was better and I wonder why they removed him.

Etiwel Mutero

Source - Etiwel Mutero
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