Zimra on course to surpass $4,8bn target

The Chronicle

Thupeyo Muleya in Beitbridge
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is well on course to surpass its half year revenue collection target with the final report for the period set for release at the end of this month, board chairperson, Mr Callisto Jokonya, has said.

In an interview on Monday during a tour of Beitbridge Border Post by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development, Mr Jokonya said the tax authority had set its target for the six-month period at $4,8 billion.

“We are well on course to meet our target. In addition the board will meet on the 20th to work out the figures when management has presented them. We will be publishing the figures at the end of the month. Our target is $4,8 billion and we will be able to meet the target,” said Mr Jokonya.

“However, let’s wait until the end of this month when management would have presented the figures to us.”

Parliamentarians are on a second phase of touring ports of entry to assess operational challenges and revenue performance in line with Government’s ease of doing business mantra.

The Zimra board chair told the delegation that their performance to date has been more or less on target but said the final picture would be given in the final report.

“If we look at the first quarter you will note that we did well since we exceeded inflation by 13 percent. This time, according to indications in the first two months, we have been on target,” said Mr Jokonya.

“Currently we are looking at the last month and compiling all the figures put together with what is also going to be refunded to the clients.

This will then give us a final outlook of the actual revenue performance figure.”

Speaking during the same tour, Zimra regional manager for Beitbridge Mr Innocent Chikuni said they had exceeded their half year revenue target by 30 percent.

He said they had set a target of $378 million and had managed to collect a total of $494m (at Beitbridge Border Post).

Mr Chikuni said although they had managed to do well in terms of revenue collection, they were facing a litany of challenges including human resources and staff accommodation shortages for them to fully deliver their mandate.

“At the moment we have 261 workers and need an additional 59. In terms of accommodation we have an acute shortage and are renting 25 houses at $220/per room, putting our monthly bill at $59 000.

“To make matters worse five landlords have given us notice to vacate,” he said.

Mr Chikuni added that they had no adequate resources in terms of vehicles and manpower to curb smuggling along the porous border with South Africa, which stretches for 255km mostly along the dry Limpopo River bed. He said Government should increase budget commitments for border authorities to close intrusive leakages to maximise revenue collection at Beitbridge.

Zimra recorded more than $2 billion revenue collections in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, a 41,5 percent jump above the $1,45 billion target for the period.

Excise duty recorded $565 million against a target of $242 million while the Intermediate Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) recorded $282 million collection against a target of $150 million. Corporate income tax was $242 million, 40,7 percent above the target of $172 million.

These were among the top performing revenue heads.