A fortnight ago our government announced the slashing of travellers’ rebate from $300 to $200 per month. The big question we need to ask to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi is: Can Zimra improve its revenue collection through the reduction of travellers’ rebate?
Enock Kwinika,Our Reader
I think it defeats logic to assume that by reducing travellers’ rebate people will have little money to spend which is not taxed when we all know that it is so easy to bring into the country anything through our borders, through designated and undesignated points.
My personal observation is that the ratio of Zimra officials to travellers is too low. As a result, officials on duty cannot adequately inspect incoming goods without creating queues at the border. Thousands upon thousands of travellers pass through Beitbridge Border Post (and other entry points) everyday with goods that are not declared. As long as there is no will to nip corruption in the bud or a clear method to inspect incoming goods, government will always lose thousands of dollars through financial leakages.
As a matter of fact, as long as we don’t improve capacity utilisation of our industries or fail to understand the value of the dollar, people will always flock to places like Musina to buy all sorts of things, irrespective of the control measures that are put in place. I started going to Musina in 1990 and then control measures at the border were watertight.
Today it is not surprising to see a traveller importing goods worth more than $1 000 and fail to pay even a cent. Then l come back to the crux of this letter, is it wise to slash travellers’ rebate? Are we not pushing out the innocent traveller?