Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) detected 57 corruption related cases in its operations in 2016 and would continue to scale up efforts to weed out the vice, an official said.
Acting Zimra Commissioner General, Mr Happias Kuzvinzwa, said that the tax authority was implementing a range of measures to curb corruption to ensure efficient provision of fiscal services and facilitation of trade and travel.
He urged all patriotic Zimbabweans to play their part in fighting corruption and illicit trade deals that he blamed for reversing gains made in developing the country’s economy.
“Let’s discourage tax evasion in all its forms, smuggling, corruption, money laundering, transfer pricing and all forms of illicit behaviour as all this negates the gains of our economic development. In 2016, the Authority dealt with a total of 57 corruption-related cases. Our relentless fight against corruption continues unabated, and we will never tire until the war is won,” said Mr Kuzvinzwa.
He said Zimra had adopted zero-tolerance on corruption hence the establishment of a toll-free hotline since May 2016 that has helped expose graft.
“The hotline is managed by an independent service provider and is used for reporting corruption cases relating to Zimra. The hotline has helped expose corrupt activities, which the authority has acted on and continues to work on,” said Mr Kuzvinzwa.
He said as part of its strategies to fight corruption and enhance transparency, Zimra workers are made to declare assets while life-style audits will continue with those found guilty liable for disciplinary action in accordance with company’s code of conduct.
Zimra has also embraced use of closed circuit television systems that have been installed at the ports of entry.
Mr Kuzvinzwa also said the authority has set up a whistle-blower facility that is meant to encourage members of the public to report cases of tax evasion and underhand dealings.
“Under the facility any individual who provides specific information, which results in the recovery of revenue is entitled to 10 percent of the recovered amount,” he said.
Mr Kuzvinzwa said the identity of the informant would be protected, which means that the informant is assured of confidentiality throughout the process of investigation.
“The end of corruption begins with me, it begins with you, it begins with all of us,” said Mr Kuzvinzwa.
Meanwhile, the e-services portal which Zimra deployed in 2015 has also brought considerable convenience to clients as they can apply for Tax Clearance Certificates online and carry out other Zimra-related processes remotely.
Mr Kuzvinzwa said in January this year, Zimra surpassed gross and net revenue targets by over four per cent and three per cent respectively.
During the period the authority collected gross and net revenue amounting to $264.79 million and $262.21 million respectively, against a target of $254.10 million, which translates to a growth in net revenue of over 13 per cent when compared to the $232.01 million, which was collected during the same period last year.