BY REX MPHISA
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra)’s new manager at Beitbridge Border Post, Kenneth Mungati, has reportedly ordered the transfer of over 300 staff members from the border town after accusing them of corruption.
Mungati took over from Innocent Chikuni, who was transferred to Harare last year.
Sources told NewsDay that Mungati had refused to work with the staff at Beitbridge accusing them of being corrupt.
NewsDay gathered that the first batch of targeted officials left on December 31, 2021 for their new workstations.
Others are expected to have left by the end of next month with their replacements arriving in corresponding batches.
“All the affected officers have been given letters of transfer and informed of their new destinations. The transfers were almost indiscriminate and some, who had just arrived at Beitbridge, had spent less than six months,” an affected Zimra official told NewsDay.
“The new manager refused to work with us because he alleged that we were corrupt. He was here recently as the assistant regional manager to Chikuni,” said a disgruntled junior officer.
Ironically, most of the officers coming to replace those leaving Beitbridge were here and they also unceremoniously left in 2016 when Mungati allegedly refused to work with them because they were also “corrupt”.
Each officer leaving Beitbridge is entitled to slightly more than a month’s salary as “disturbance” allowance to cushion them during the relocation exercise.
The salaries for customs and excise officers range from $70 000 to $80 000.
This means that government has to fork out around $48 million to fund the transfers.
Zimra spokesperson Gladman Njanji said all transfers were above board.
“The authority has been meeting its set target over the years due to the commitment and dedication of our staff, as well as an effective system of collecting revenue and facilitating trade and travel. The authority has the prerogative to make a business decision that may result in movement of staff anytime,” he said, adding that the revenue collector conducted staff transfers each year whenever it sees it fit to do so.
“Every year, the authority sets aside funds to meet the cost of the members of staff who will be transferring or rotating from one station to another in keeping up with the relevant policies, procedures, business decisions and as part of best practice of revenue administration.”
Njanji said at no time were the transferred officers labelled “corrupt”, adding that the authority had procedures to eliminate corruption.