BY LORRAINE MUROMO
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) yesterday said it was going after officials at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, who it accuses of fuelling corruption at the borders.
The anti-graft body said the country’s borders had become enablers of high-level criminal activity, including drug trafficking, livestock theft, money-laundering and smuggling of minerals, which it says is costing the country about US$1,8 billion per annum in illicit financial flows.
Zacc has lately been targeting cross-border transporters to stop rampant smuggling of goods and human trafficking.
The sting operation has irked transport operators, who feel they were being unfairly treated.
Officially opening a capacity-building workshop on financial investigation and asset recovery, facilitated by the International Centre for Asset Recovery, Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo said they were targeting the taxman and other law enforcement agencies for abetting corruption at the borders.
“Investigations are underway, and we are investigating Zimra officials and the law enforcement agencies at the border posts to find out how those buses are actually bypassing regulations at the entry points,” Matanda-Moyo said.
“The buses are now being used to carry contraband from South Africa, and they are evading taxes. One of the cases we are fighting is smuggling, which has become so intense in the country, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars in revenue. Once we dwindle funds to the State, then there will be no funds to build infrastructure, no funds to provide drugs in the hospitals, no funds to build even schools, and so everybody needs to know that they must comply with the rules.”
She said high-profile individuals would also be investigated if they were found to be involved in smuggling activities.
“People must learn to follow the rules and that’s why we are on a campaign right now to educate members of the public on the dangers of participating in corruption, which is expensive for the country,” Matanda-Moyo said.
All assets seized will be forfeited to the State, she added.
She, however, bemoaned lack of skills among law enforcement agents to help fight graft.