BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has introduced automated systems as some of the country’s entry points in efforts to curb corruption which is said to be rampant at the country’s borders.
This comes at a time when the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has accused Zimra officials of fuelling corruption at the borders.
Addressing delegates today at a Zimra anti-corruption launch in Bulawayo held under the theme #Iamforzero: Say no to corruption, Zimra information communication technology (ICT) director Shamu Moyo said the revenue authority was working on reducing human involvement in all border processes.
“Zimra’s thrust is to have fully automated customs and tax administration systems. This should reduce human interaction and opportunities for corruption, and also to maximise revenue collection. We implemented the Comprehensive Digitalisation Strategy for anchoring transformation. We also have specific projects targeted at fighting and reducing corruption, reducing human interface, reducing manual processing, and employing technology for surveillance and monitoring,” Moyo said.
“We have the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) whose function is sealing and tracking of commercial trucks and transiting vehicles. The seals reduce dumping of goods and fuel in the country by motor vehicles. The second one is the e-TIP (Electronic Temporary Import Permit) and it allows travellers to process their permits electronically thus avoiding human intervention which creates room for corruption.”
“Thirdly, we introduced the Road Manifest and Quota Management which is used in improved controls of road cargo and improved efficiency through removal of manual capturing avoiding human intervention, which creates room for corruption. Lastly we have the Whistle Blower 34B Cases (Phase 1) which is used for Automated Whistle Blowing Payment Processes – triggers and alerts.”
Zimra acting Commissioner General Regina Chinamasa urged members of the public to report all corrupt activities.
“As Zimra, we require information that can assist us to deal with the corruption scourge. We appeal to you and our stakeholders to report corruption through the use of the whistle blower facilities,” Chinamasa said.
She said Zimra remains committed to the fight against corruption through implementation of lifestyle audits, corruption risk assessment tools, investigations and tax evasion audits, illicit trade practices, smuggling and sanctioning of proceeds of crime.
Minister of State for Bulawayo province Judith Ncube said: “I am pleased that Zimra has decided to lead the fight against corruption by creating these important multi- sectoral platforms. Corruption is everywhere and corruption must be fought not only from the corridors of power in government, but from the private sector.”
She said the idea that corruption is something that exists only in government institutions was flawed as it limits a more robust and holistic confrontation of the challenges that corruption besets on the country’s economy and shared quality of life.
Zacc has of late been targeting Zimra officials, the security services at the borders, and cross-border transporters to stop rampant smuggling of goods and human trafficking.
The sting operation has irked transport operators, who feel they are being unfairly treated.