GERSHEM PASIHappiness Zengeni and Jeffrey Murimbechi in VICTORIA FALLS
The Government is losing millions of dollars in uncollected revenue emanating from poor systems integration of information in the formal and informal sectors.

As a result, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority was challenged to leverage global ICT trends to enhance modernisation of their tax administration using various testimonials from South Africa, Sweden and Botswana as specimen of how this can be implemented.

The chairman of the African Tax Administration Forums (ATAF) council, Mr Gershem Pasi, said that despite current efforts by ZIMRA to be efficient in revenue collection, Zimbabwe is still lagging behind.

“I fully appreciate the sterling efforts that revenue administrations, through the auspices of the African Tax Administration Forum and other umbrella bodies, are making in modernising and automating Tax and Customs processes.”

He said that the advancement in ICT has made life easier in almost all facets of the business life, particularly in the financial services sector.

“In addition, the impact of information technology has not spared governments, which at times lag behind in terms of technological advancement. I am pleased that most revenue authorities are now acting as vital elements in their respective governments’ technological development programmes.”

Zimra is playing an instrumental role, not only in collecting revenue for the State, but also in championing the e-government programme.

The e-government programme is in line with the country’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).

According to South African Revenue Services (SARS) group executive, Mr Marius Papenfus who is in the Modernisation and Technology Division responsible for the disciplines of Enterprise Architecture, Programme Management, Systems Integration and Specialist Technologies — SARS managed to increase turn over time on revenue collection and processing increased volumes of data using ICT solutions.

Principal Director Modernisation Department in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mr Solomon Mhlanga reiterated the notion of increasing efficiency in Zimbabwean revenue collection.

“We would want to improve revenue collection within ZIMRA and there are a number of projects that are currently being worked on to move up from current levels.”

He said that the Government is progressively modernising its operations through world class ICT service providers and local expertise.

“Right now the Government is working closely with the best ICT applications in the world, we are working with Microsoft, Oracle and SAP — from that angle you will note that these are the giants in terms how the e-systems are moving in this century.”

“From that angle we are guaranteed that what the Government is working on is on top of the line.”

ATAF 2015 is a high-level conference on ICT featuring delegates from African revenue authorities and various delegates from Asia, Europe and the Americas — with an emphasis on getting African authorities to be leaders in tax administration.