Zimra hunts for new boss

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has kick-started the hunt for a new commissioner-general to replace Faith Mazani, who will leave the tax collector at the end of this month.

Mazani tendered her resignation at the end of last year after serving in the demanding role for about two years.
She was said to be headed for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she previously served as a tax administration expert/advisor at the lender’s Regional Technical Assistance Centre.

It was from the IMF that she returned home in 2018 to take up the challenge of tax administration in a fragile economy.
Mazani took over from long-serving Zimra boss Gershem Pasi, who resigned in May 2017.

Zimra yesterday said it required a tax expert with over 10 years’ experience to assume the hot seat.

“The applicant is required to have a comprehensive knowledge of Zimbabwe’s tax and customs systems and familiarity with the revenue laws, regulations, treaties and protocols administered by the authority,” Zimra said.

“Applicant must have demonstrable leadership capabilities to lead a large, complex institution … provides the authority with effective leadership anchored on high ethical standards,” the statement added, adding that change management skills were an important attribute.

During her two-year tenure, Mazani consistently surpassed revenue targets set by the Finance and Economic Development ministry.
However, lately part of these achievements had been bolstered by sustained inflationary surges as the economy continued to struggle under extreme volatilities triggered by a weak currency.

Zimra’s gross revenue collection for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020 were 31,19% above target at $58,81 billion.

Unfortunately, Mazani leaves Zimra during a critical time in Zimbabwe’s efforts to collect enough revenues from frail industries and hard-pressed individuals to oil the faltering economy.

Last November, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube delivered a $421,6 billion budget, which saw public sector employment costs guzzling the biggest part of the national purse in 2021.

He projected revenue at $390,8 billion, with a $31 billion deficit.
Deficits generally affect economic growth.

Analysts called for belt-tightening measures to boost State revenues without hurting taxpayers.
It was this balancing act that Mazani generally achieved.

But it is unclear if her successor will be able to sustain her efforts without hitting industries with damaging penalties if they fail to remit taxes on time.

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