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Customs duty payments for 423 vehicles vanish from Zimra system

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By Mutsa Makuvaza

THERE are fears of a massive corruption cover-up at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) after thousands of dollars paid by a Harare-based firm “disappeared” from the tax authority’s system.

A leaked letter, which the Zimbabwe Voiceis in possession of, shows that the duty in question relates to 423 vehicles which were imported, but the the clearances of the said vehicles has not reflected in the Zimra system.

The Zimra Commissioner Customs and Excise, in a letter dated 5 May 2020 and addressed to a Harare firm Customs Excellence Private Limited, said the customs duty payments for vehicles, which the company claimed to have made, did not appear in the taxman’s system.

Read the letter signed by one AP Swarres: “Reference is made to the issues you have been raising concerning confirmation of customs duty payments and the meeting held in my office on the matter.

“As I stated in the meeting verifications in our system, which I did in your presence, showed that the customs duty payments and assessments for the vehicles in question do not appear in our system.

“I note that you are still of the opinion that the payments were made in fulfilment of your clients’ obligations concerning their motor vehicle importations.

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“However, as I have stated such clearances and payments are not reflected in our system.

“You also requested access to the importation documents for these vehicles, however, since there is no record in our system such documents cannot be availed.

“You are therefore urged to ensure that your clients pursue regularizing the clearance of their vehicles in order to get their release.”

Commenting on the matter, opposition politician and LEAD President Linda Masarira raised a red flag and called for a thorough investigation in what could be a tip of bigger scams at the tax authority.

“423 vehicles have been incorrectly imported, now part customs duty disappears in their sytem? Are we witnessing the biggest customs duty scandal being covered up before our eyes? What exactly is being covered up by Zimra?” she queried.

Masarira urged the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to step in and investigate the rot-ZImvoice

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