Govt to plug Beitbridge border leakages

Source: Govt to plug Beitbridge border leakages | The Herald July 23, 2016

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
GOVERNMENT has secured $600 000 to curb leakages at Beitbridge Border Post and ensure maximum revenue collection, Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo has said.

Dr Chombo, who heads a Cabinet crack team set up to look into operations at the border, made the revelations during a tour of Beitbridge recently.

He was accompanied by Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa and Deputy Minister for Industry and Commerce Cde Chiratidzo Mabuwa.

He said the country was losing a lot of potential revenue through underhand activities at ports of entry.

Members of the inter-ministerial team include the ministers of Finance and Economic Development; Mines and Mining Development; Environment, Water and Climate; Industry and Commerce; and Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.

“Most of our funding is coming from the Ministry of Mines, and we have secured a total of $600 000 that we are using to upgrade operations to stop all intrusive leakages at Beitbridge. We have bought some motorbikes and vehicles for patrols along the boundary line.

“Lie detectors have also been acquired so that we curb corruption among border workers,” he said.

Dr Chombo said they also used the money to acquire CCTV cameras, which have already been installed at Beitbridge and were awaiting commissioning.

Dr Chombo said they were also working on setting up a new border perimeter fence to replace the one which was heavily vandalised by criminals.

“Mobile scanners and luggage scanners are now in use, and we will do everything in our power in order to increase the revenue collection capacity.

“It is sad that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is collecting $800 000 against a daily average of $1,2 million,” he said.

Dr Chombo said Government will soon introduce polygraph tests that will see workers at the border posts being subjected to lie detector tests, which is the norm internationally.

Cde Chidhakwa said the Government was worried about the smuggling of minerals including gold and diamonds.