BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has said it has completed investigations of 142 cases of tax evasion and recovered over $750 000 and US$8 million since the beginning of the year.
This was revealed during a workshop hosted by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) to review the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which was attended by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) steering committee members.
Zimra commissioner-in-charge of revenue assurance Regina Chinamasa said the authority had conducted assessment of tax compliance of funds amounting to US$110 740 105 and prosecuted 34 cases since the beginning of the year.
“Given the high level of non-compliance, there is a lot of room for us to move in and deal with tax evasion,” Chinamasa said. “From the perspective of capacitation, Zimra then created a dedicated team that is working on tax evasion from the international taxation and local perspectives. We are partnering with other development partners so that we get the technical assistance to capacitate our officers and this is an ongoing process.
“We are partnering with other agencies to address the vice of tax evasion.” Stakeholders who attended the meeting bemoaned delays in dealing with asset recovery, jurisdiction and duplication of investigation among law enforcement agencies.
“The National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) defines the country’s priority and objectives to prevent and combat corruption for the next five years,” TIZ research and advocacy officer Nqobani Tshabangu said.
He added: “While many countries have adopted strategies aimed at co-ordinating government efforts in different sectors and institutions and at monitoring and evaluating progress, there are not so many successful examples when it comes to implementation.
“The COVID-19 restrictions were a bigger challenge on implementation of NACS as it deterred meetings and training of citizens on how to report corruption cases.
“There is need for a whistleblower protection law which is, however, determined by the political will to ensure that citizens are not afraid of reporting corruption cases happening in their areas or workplaces. Whistleblowers are not willing to report cases and to be witnesses to cases of corruption.”
Recent studies by TIZ on corruption show that the culture of impunity in dealing with high-profile corruption cases and misuse of public has weakened the capacity to ensure compliance with tax payments.
TIZ said poor tax compliance in the country had also resultantly been detrimental to the growth of Zimbabwe’s economy, which largely depends on tax money.
Last month, Zacc arrested Harare businessman Trust Chiro for allegedly evading import duty for his five commercial trucks, three of which were recovered by Zimra officials in Waterfalls, Harare, early this year. The businessman allegedly prejudiced the parastatal of
- Follow Miriam on Twitter @FloMangwaya