BY NIZBERT MOYO
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) will soon introduce sniffer dogs to tackle smuggling activities at the country’s border posts amid an outcry over rampant corruption by its officials.
Speaking yesterday during the 2020 International Customs day commemorations in Bulawayo, Zimra board member, Morris Mpofu said: “As you may appreciate, Zimra has been instrumental in facilitating trade and travel and introduced a considerable number of initiatives to curb drug smuggling and other harmful products through our ports of entry.
“Some of these systems include setting up of anti-smuggling units at all ports of entry. Non-intrusive equipment such as scanners where both commercial and private goods go through at importation, use of sniffer dogs that are trained to use their senses to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.”
Mpofu said Zimra will train its officers on how to apply anti-smuggling and other border control techniques, adding that they will also use the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO).
He said they will collaborate with other intelligence offices for information so that Zimra utilises the distribution of alerts on irregular importation of goods.
Mpofu said the day is celebrated on January 26 annually under the auspices of the World Customs Organisation to, among other things, appreciate the role of Customs administrations and their stakeholders in promoting trade, travel and economic development in general.
Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister, Judith Ncube urged Zimra officials to shun corruption saying they were not exempt from the problem.
“I would like Zimra to be cognisant that its members of staff have to serve clients quickly and professionally, without creating artificial bottlenecks so (that they) ask for bribes,’’ Ncube said.