via Govt moves to tighten border controls – DailyNews Live 5 September 2014 by Lloyd Mbiba
HARARE – Government is tightening border controls in a bid to stem the flow of illegal imports, a top government official has said.
Mike Bimha, Industry and Commerce minister, told Parliament on Wednesday that Zimbabwe’s ports of entry have become “very porous” and Cabinet had crafted measures to curb the smuggling.
“There is a lot of corruption going on because goods do come in and sometimes through the normal channels at the border, but no duty is paid.”
The minister said they had recommended to Cabinet as a ministry the setting up of a multi-sectoral team to look into the matter.
He told Parliament they had been given approval by Cabinet.
“We are in the process of putting up this multi-sectoral team which will ensure that we inspect the goods which come through our borders,” he said.
“We have duty on imported shoes and there is a certain amount on duty and an additional amount per pair which one has to pay for importing,” said the minister.
“However, you will find shoes being sold at the market at $1 per pair when the additional amount over and above is $2,50. If one can then sell a product for a $1 when you were supposed to pay $5 all in all, it means that these goods are going through our borders without duty being paid.”
Bimha said he had engaged a reputable international firm that would assist his ministry in checking the quality of imports.
“We are also in the process of engaging a reputed firm which we will then make use of in terms of checking the quality of products that come into this country,” he said.
“Again, that is in line with what I said earlier on in this august House that as a ministry, we are putting together a Bill that will support the existing institutions to do with quality standards and also to do with the needs of the consumers.”