The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is losing millions of dollars to a smuggling syndicate at Beitbridge border post, which implicates the Zimra and the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers, the Zim Morning Post can reveal.
Investigations made by this publication established that the smugglers are working in cahoots with border officials and money is exchanging hands.
When the Zim Morning Post team arrived at the border over the weekend, traders were paying between R800 to smuggle a fridge to Harare without paying duty. The money caters for the transportation of the gadgets, bribing the Zimra and ZRP officers and also to paying the middle men.
“Chingondipai 800 chete (800 rand) munotora fridge yenyu pa bhazi or ndosangana nemi pa Engen ndokupai hazvitombonetse” (Just give me 800 rand you will get your fridge at the border post or at Engen garage and it’s not that difficult.)
The charges depend on the gadget that is being smuggled.
This publication secretly filmed one of the smugglers who revealed that they work with ZIMRA officials.
He said ZIMRA officials have declaration forms that were written long back ago which are adjusted on the date of the slip and it will be easy for the customer to pass through any roadblock or border control unit.
ZIMRA officials are said to receive R150 (per item) to clear goods and the charges can go higher depending with the type and size of the wares.
According to Statutory Instrument (SI) Number 252A of 2018, goods pay import duty of between 15% to 60% whilst except ICT gadgets which are exempted from paying duty. However the syndicate between ZIMRA workers and smugglers is not paying any import duty and the number of people in this business is increasing rapidly.
Zim Morning Post following a lead on alleged smuggling of goods by transport operators popularly known as malayitsha learnt that border officials are working hand in glove with the smugglers who are making a killing at the border post.
The business of smuggling has become very lucrative among Zimbabweans resulting in them buying cars to ease the conduct of their business. The observation on a Saturday morning in Musina showed that Zimbabwe registered vehicles dominate the town more than the South African registered vehicles.
Many of these Zimbabwean vehicles were seen loading goods that include refrigerators, solar panels, speakers, television sets among other goods that are being sold in flea market areas. There are some other people who cross the border daily just to come and supply to people who are selling in flea markets like Gulf complex, Kwame Mall and other sprouting malls in Zimbabwe