Govt to define term of office for Zimra bosses: Move aimed at fighting corruption

Source: Govt to define term of office for Zimra bosses: Move aimed at fighting corruption – Sunday News Dec 18, 2016

Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior News Reporter
THE Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has proposed changes to terms of office for the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) bosses, as part of efforts to curb corruption and improve the authority’s efficiency.

Tenures of office for the Zimra Commissioner-General and other Commissioners are set to be changed from open-ended to fixed terms, under the proposal.

The term of office for the Commissioner-General will become fixed to a maximum of two, five-year terms, while other commissioners’ tenures of office will not exceed three, four-year terms.

Under current legislation the tenures of offices for the Zimra chiefs are open-ended and can be renewed continuously at the pleasure of the authority’s board.

Presenting the 2017 Budget statement, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the current set up at Zimra created a haven for corruption and needed to be changed.

“Under the current legislation, the Zimra Board appoints, on such terms and conditions as it may fix, a person to be the Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

“The tenure of office is, however, open-ended, hence can be renewed continuously.

“This, however, breeds corruption due to over-familiarisation with taxpayers and does not give room for innovative ideas required for the strategic and policy leadership of the Authority’s operations,” he said.

Minister Chinamasa proposed, “It is, therefore, proposed that the tenure of office for the Commissioner General be fixed to a maximum of two, five-year terms.

“It is, further, proposed that the Board appoints to the service of the Authority, such Commissioners, as may be deemed necessary, a fixed tenure of office not exceeding three, four-year terms.”

Minister Chinamasa further proposed that the Commissioner-General, with the approval of the Board, appoints Heads of Departments, as may be required, for the efficient performance of the functions of the authority.

In May this year Zimra suspended its Commissioner-General, Mr Gershem Pasi and five other executive managers after questions were raised over the importation of vehicles.

The five include Mrs Annah Mutombodzi, Mrs Sithokozile Mrewa, Mr Tjiyapo Velempini, Mr Clive Majengwa and Mr Charlton Chihuri.

Mr Happias Kuzvinzwa who was the Commissioner Domestic Taxes was appointed as the Acting Commissioner-General.

Following the suspensions, the Zimra board instituted a forensic audit into the authority’s operations and unearthed endemic corruption, violation of Government laws among other shenanigans.

According to the audit report, all the shenanigans happened under the stewardship of Mr Pasi and the five executives.

The report showed that Mr Pasi and other members of the executive collectively pocketed about $15 million in salaries and allowances, some of which were unsanctioned in the last three years.

It also emerged that the revenue collector was losing millions of dollars to dealers who processed counterfeit undervalued documents to smuggle vehicles and other items into the country.

The audit report also exposed the authority’s loss control director Mr Charlton Chihuri for forging academic certificates.

Mr Chihuri reportedly has four Ordinary Level subjects but had been, until he was unmasked, working at the revenue authority for 13 years after forging qualifications, including his university degree.

Mr Pasi was appointed Commissioner in May 2001 after the amalgamation of the Tax and Customs Excise departments into Zimra.

His title was later renamed Commissioner-General in 2011.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 2
  • comment-avatar

    And what about the president who has been voted out of office, and yet has continued his pilfering ways for 36 years?

  • comment-avatar
    Reasonable One 5 years ago

    What about the Board of Director’s. Surely they should equally be held accountable. How did they fail to put measures in place to make sure senior management remained in check? You also wonder where the auditor was in this case, the Auditor General obviously does not efficiently execute their duties as they are supposed to have oversight on State Enterprises. Who undertook the interview of the Loss Control Director who does not have 5 O’ Levels and faked their degree, that interview panel surely does not have qualifications too if they failed to sniff out the obvious lack of academic backing of this one Chihuri, maybe since he is a Chihuri they were too afraid to question him. Zimbabwe’s roth is everywhere. It stinks!