Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Commissioner-General Faith Mazani has urged people to stand up against corruption and stand up to police officers who demand customs clearance documents from them.
“Let’s stand up to corruption. Police are not supposed to demand customs clearance documents,” she said.
She was responding to a suggestion put to her at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe annual conference dinner on Thursday in Nyanga.
It had been suggested that Zimra train police on customs clearance documents as it often happened that clearance would be obtained from the customs department at the border but police would later stop the vehicle in which the cleared goods were, demand to see the clearance documents and then insist they were not in order.
Ms Mazani said Zimra would not train police on customs documents as it was not their business to deal with customs clearance documents and they were not supposed to demand them.
She said police could investigate if they suspected customs officials had committed an offence but she suggested that most people knew why police officers demanded such documents, implying it was to solicit a bribe.
They should stand up to such policemen. Unless people were bold enough to stand up against corruption, nothing would change, she said.
If Zimra staff were doing what they were not supposed to do, this should be reported to their superior or could even be reported directly to her, she said.
“Let’s fight corruption together,” she implored.
After highlighting the legal obligation of those receiving payment in foreign currency to issue foreign currency invoices and receipts and pay the tax on the transaction in foreign currency, she said fighting underhand dealings such as tax evasion and avoidance as well as corruption called for unity of purpose.
She told conference participants that they were strategically positioned to “perpetuate Zimra’s zero tolerance of corruption by condemning, not condoning the vice”.
“This nation is being driven by domestic resources. Therefore your role in accounting and administering taxes is critically important to the building of Zimbabwe,” she said.