via Zimra probes corrupt officers | The Herald by Thupeyo Muleya October 8, 2013
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is investigating some of its customs officers who are deployed at Manica Transit Shed where vehicle imports into the country through Beitbridge border post are processed.It is understood that at least four revenue officers are under investigations for either undervaluing vehicles or alteration of customs documents.
Sources within the organisation said yesterday that some of the officers were allegedly working with car dealers from either Harare or Bulawayo who import most of the vehicles on a daily basis.
The investigations are reported to have been upped recently as Zimra intensified its zero-tolerance campaign to corruption stance.
The Herald is reliably informed that a revenue officer who had been attached to the Compliance Section before her redeployment to the Vehicles Section was last week issued with a written warning for misconduct.
It is reported that she would alter date of manufacture on some vehicles during duty calculations to ensure that the owners paid less excise duty.
The number of vehicles involved is yet to be ascertained though on average a vehicle attracts customs duty of between US$2 000 and US$2 500.
Excise duty for vehicles is determined by the year of manufacturing, primary fuel and transmission (either automatic or manual).
“Things went bad when it was discovered by one of our bosses that this woman was in the habit of altering years of manufacture for several other vehicles.
“You will note that we are now using the Asycuda plus system which is internet based and linked to our national grid where anyone from the organisation can revisit transactions.
“We understand that one of the supervisors discovered the anomaly and then alerted the human resources department who then warned her that she does not commit a similar offence a similar offence,” said the source.
Zimra’s spokesman Mr Canisio Mudzimu did not respond to the written questions by the end of the day yesterday. The parastatal introduced the Asycuda World (Automated System for Customs Data) in October last 2011 which is a more efficient and advanced system for customs data processing since it is internet based.
This means that any clearing agent registered with Zimra could lodge a bill of entry from anywhere in the world where there is internet connectivity. Communication between Zimra and the agent is, therefore, done electronically.
The system is, however, not water tight as wheeler-dealers and some Zimra officers find their way around it. Early this year, Zimra suspended three officers at Beitbridge Border post on allegations of corruption and facilitating the smuggling of several commercial goods into the country.
Among those who were suspended are Mrs Kudakwashe Mutasa (Supervisor Bonds), Lina Chipitiri and Silibaziso Mtetwa (both revenue officers).
In November last year five other officers at Beitbridge Border post were also suspended on allegations of corruption and facilitating the clearance of several commercial goods into the country without permits.