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Zimra anti-corruption crusade recovers Z$296million

HARARE – THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has recovered ZWL$296.97 million through its anti-corruption crusade for the year ending 2020.

A total of ZWL$38 million was recovered under the whistle-blower facility, Zimra announced during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Thursday.

The authority’s Acting Commissioner General, Rameck Masaire, said Zimra has implemented inward and outward measures to plug revenue leakages.

“Some of these measures include integrity Management, Anti-corruption crusade, Whistle-blower Facility, Anti-Tax evasion and Anti-Smuggling measures,” Masaire said.

The body responsible for collecting taxes and other revenue streams for the government in Zimbabwe, collaborated with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Vehicles Inspection Department and Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission in conducting special anti-corruption operations during the 2020 period.

“The authority is also playing a key role in the National Anti-Corruption sub committee in charge of monitoring and asset recovery at national level. The committee is mandated to develop the national whistleblower policy,” Masaire continued.

“The authority is aggressively using the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act to seize and attach properties acquired through fraudulent means,” said the Acting Commissioner General.

Zimra has a facility for rewarding private individuals who choose to participate in plugging of revenue leakages through tax and duty evasion.

The whistle-blower facility rewards legitimate informants who provide information that result in the recovery of revenue which would otherwise have been lost if the information had not been given.

This facility was established through Section 34B of the Revenue Authority Act (Chapter 23:11) in 2001. The administration of the facility was enhanced following the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 150 of 2020 on 26 June 2020 to regulate the administration of the rewards.

Meanwhile, Masaire said ZIMRA collected a net revenue of ZWL$181.96 billion against the target of ZWL$171.9 billion representing 5.85% above target for the year ending 2020.
Six main sectors contributed 81 percent of the revenue. These were Mining and Quarrying, Finance and Insurance, Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retail, Information and Communication and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.

He said foreign currency collections for 2020 amounted to USD$787.85 million, the substantial collections realised after the RBZ authorised local trade using free funds by individuals and corporates through Statutory Instrument 85 of 2020 to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, George Guvamatanga said treasury noted the resilience demonstrated by ZIMRA in the collection of revenue, notwithstanding the challenges associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Treasury appreciates ongoing efforts by the Authority to meet set targets, it is important to assess such performance against the maximum potential to collect revenues, in particular, considering the untapped potential concealed in various policies that still require full implementation,” the ministry said.

“While we celebrate the positive revenue performance, it, thus, remains crucial for the Revenue Authority to swiftly address policy Implementation bottlenecks, particularly with regards to the Fiscalisation Programme and the attendant VAT refunds mechanism,” the ministry added.

The Revenue Authority was challenged by the Finance Minister to enhance the Information Technology Platform, which is key in electronically connecting operators, agents and general taxpayers to facilitate seamless and uninterrupted connectivity, thereby guaranteeing prompt payment of taxes, regardless of geographical location of taxpayers.