THE Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) yesterday called on government to craft effective measures to curb smuggling, corruption at State enterprises and parastatals (seps) and porousness at border posts in its 2018 National Budget statement.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
ZNCC chief executive officer Christopher Mugaga made the call when he appeared before the David Chapfika-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance to make submissions on the 2018 budget, where he said smuggling of goods was killing formal business in the country with 50% of second-hand tyres sold on the market being smuggled into the country.
“No matter how we continue to incentivise exporters, they continue to be outweighed by those that are smuggling, because after the introduction of the $300 million bond notes we still see a lot of them in the informal economy, and even if you go to Musina the bond note is trusted more than the rand” he said.
“For example, second-hand tyres are not allowed into the country, but the Zimbabwean market consumes 1,3 million tyres annually and out of that figure the consumption of second-hand tyres that are smuggled in is 50%.”
Mugaga said the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) also needs to find other models of broadening their revenue base instead of just garnishing accounts of big businesses.
“There is a culture where if a person wins a ZNCC award, the next morning Zimra is at their door. Their penalty loading system is 100%, which is not proper because if you look at other models like South Africa we are talking of 23%. We feel Zimra should be lenient,” Mugaga said.
He slammed the current practice where informal traders were selling wares like groceries at shops’ entrances at a cheaper price, in the process causing littering.
Mugaga‘s deputy, Tamuka Macheka, said foreign currency challenges were crippling business, adding something must be done to curb porousness at border posts, where government was losing a lot of revenue through smuggling.