Zimra donates to Grace at its own peril

Revelations that First Lady Grace Mugabe’s donations at her rallies are sourced from what the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) would have impounded at border posts are quite scandalous and call for a national enquiry.

Source: Zimra donates to Grace at its own peril – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 20, 2017

Comment: NewsDay Editor

The goods that Zimra collects are because people would have failed to pay duty or tried to smuggle them and, all things being normal, these are supposed to be auctioned with the proceeds going to the revenue collector.

How then they are donated to Grace, who then donates them to party members at her rallies, beggars belief.

Those goods belong to the nation and, should be auctioned to raise money for the fiscus, not to be donated along partisan lines, where a huge percentage of the population is left out.

No wonder Zimra fails to meet its targets, with such very clear and self-evident leakages.

Zimbabwe will never succeed if State institutions are used for partisan and narrow political interests.

Zimbabweans can only wonder how many State institutions are made to donate to Grace and Zanu PF, to their detriment.

Air Zimbabwe, National Railways of Zimbabwe and the Grain Marketing Board are in a sorry state because of the largesse they extended to Zanu PF.

Now Zimra, a critical arm of the State, as far as raising funds for the Treasury to pay civil servants and other obligations, has also been captured by the marauding Zanu PF.

As has been pointed out, Zimbabwe is struggling not because of sanctions, but due to weak structures and poor leadership, where a political player benefits directly from State property.

Had there been proper structures, Grace would not have been able to approach Zimra for that donation and had she done so, the authority would have been forced to publish details of this donation.

But instead, all this is shrouded in secrecy and thanks to a Freudian Slip, the nation now knows the extent to which Grace is able to benefit from State resources.

This is not the first time this has happened, as last year she went around the country donating tractors at Zanu PF rallies.

It is important to point out that these tractors were sourced from Brazil and all taxpayers will have to pay back the loan, regardless of party affiliation, yet these were only donated to Zanu PF members at the ruling party’s functions.

It is time that Zanu PF realises the taxpayer has been suffering for far too long and is overdue a reprieve.

Zimra should stop giving confiscated goods to Grace and should instead sell them to augment Treasury’s ailing balance sheet.