Zimra senior managers have reportedly bought themselves top-of-the-range vehicles, some estimated to cost more than $100 000 each, ahead of their anticipated exit in a few months time.
The vehicles — Range Rovers, are estimated to cost about $125 000 each.
The issue has irked workers who accuse top management of lining their pockets yet refusing to grant the smallest of salary increments on the grounds that the company did not have money.
Zimra commissioner for legal and corporate services, Florence Jambwa could neither confirm nor deny the procurement of the luxury vehicles.
She however defended the authority’s purchasing procedures saying they were in accordance with approved budgets.
“We are not at liberty to disclose matters of conditions of service in the public domain. Conditions of service are contractual issues between the Authority and individuals concerned,” Jambwa said. “And suffice to say that all purchases follow strict governance procedures and are in accordance with approved budgets.”
Angry employees at Zimra said the managers who were due to leave the organisation in three months were guaranteed to go away with the luxury vehicles in addition to over $100 000 in cash as part of their golden handshake.
“We understand they have bought over 15 vehicles and as we speak, eight of the cars have been delivered. This is good timing for them and they think they can fool everyone.
“In addition these managers have been on four year-contracts and each of them will reap over $100 000 in cash at the end of the contracts.”
The workers said Zimra turned down their requests for salary adjustments claiming the tax-collector was operating on a shoe-string budget.
They said managers paid themselves handsome bonuses while workers have had to go to countless labour courts seeking to secure “modest” salary increments but in vain.
But the Zimra official dismissed the claims as unfounded.
“Salary increments were paid in the normal course and in line with collective bargaining principles,” Jambwa said.
She also threw out as uninformed complaints by employees that senior management were not reporting for duty most times.
“Again aspects of absence from work are issues of conditions of service secured by sanctity of contract and therefore not subject for discussion in the public domain,” Jambwa said.
The workers called upon the Anti-Corruption Commission to look into the issues as they felt the taxpayer’s money was being misused.
They said they were angry that money collected by Zimra was going to the few senior managers and not trickling into their pockets as well.
“Each time we seek a modest increment we are told there is no money, not even for bonuses, yet ‘Nicodimously’ and out of our sweat they reward themselves.”