via Zimra officials in duty payment scam – NewZimbabwe 31 January 2015
ZIMBABWEANS importing cars from Japan are being ripped off through a corrupt duty payment procedure at the country’s Chirundu and Beitbridge border posts, it has emerged.
Car importers have reported a scam which they say has been going on since November 2013 when the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) stopped accepting cash as duty payment for imported vehicles.
According to reports, those who fail to deposit their duty money into the Zimra CBZ account on time are asked to pay using someone else’s bank card and charged $50 for every $1000 or anything depending on the account owner.
Zimra officers are said to deliberately delay serving vehicle importers up until the banks are closed as a way of forcing them to pay through the corrupt payment scheme from which they benefit for every vehicle cleared.
Investigations by NewZimbabwe.com also revealed that the officials only serve about 10 clients during normal working hours with the majority being attended to after 3pm.
“I arrived at the Chirundu border post on Thursday around 10 am and the officials deliberately delayed to process my papers until the bank was closed at 3 pm,” said one man who imported a vehicle last week.
“The officials then said the bank has been closed so whoever wanted their papers processed should ask some people with money in their accounts to swipe for them. Little did we know this was a rip off and a scam involving the Zimra officials.”
A taxi driver at the Chirundu border said the Zimra officials work hand in glove with local individuals into whose accounts they deposit large sums of money for delayed customers to use after the banks are closed.
“Those individuals are business partners with the officials and they just appear after 3 pm and the delay to process papers by officials is deliberate,” said the vendor.
“My duty is $2 500 and I have paid an extra $150 so that I can leave the border today,” an importer said.
Efforts to get a comment from a Zimra supervisor at Chirundu failed as he was said to be in a meeting the whole day.