Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu has challenged the police and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to end smuggling at the country’s border posts and contribute towards revival of the economy.
He said the two organisations were failing in their duties of creating sustainable employment across the country by promoting illegal activities.
“The norm is that various employees of government are deployed at the border posts. These include the police, immigration, Zimra officials, among many.
“How then do cases of smuggling that rob the fiscus of the much-needed revenue become common place at such places? Is there anything wrong with our policies?
“How best can we plug off revenue leakages in order to grow our economy?” he queried.
Mpofu challenged all departments to meaningfully and collectively contribute to the realisation of a professionally, properly and profitably run economy.
“Working together we can improve the lives of our fellow citizens and reduce the incidence of poverty,” he said.
This comes as the Zimbabwe Republic Police has come under fire from various stakeholders for fuelling corruption and hampering tourism growth by their numerous roadblocks in the past few months before the coming in of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
However, Zimra has been working around the clock to collect revenue and has for the last nine months surpassed its targets.
In the nine months to September, Zimra collected $2,789 billion against a target of $2.5 billion.
Zimra chairperson Willia Bonyongwe said her organisation believes that current collections are still a tip of the iceberg and is determined to stir up management to re-double the current measures to ensure increased compliance.
“The authority will continue with its anti-corruption initiatives including effective utilisation of the anti-corruption hot line, lifestyle audits, whistle blower facility and of late, engaging our political leadership in Parliament to assist in education for the taxpayers in their various constituencies.
“Zimra is also lobbying government to make the penalties for tax evasion more deterrent including disgorgement and even time in jail.
Most developed and developing countries treat tax evasion as a very serious crime,” she added.