Zimra impounds 46kgs of second-hand knickers

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has seized a 46kg bale of second-hand underwear at Sango Border Post.

It is forbidden to import into Zimbabwe second-hand undergarments of any type, form or description — whether purchased, donated or procured in any other manner.

The hand-me-down knickers were seized at the border control post for Mozambique and Zimbabwe, according to the latest government gazette.

Zimra commissioner-general Gershom Pasi notified in the gazette published on Friday that the authority intercepted bales of used underwear and stockings at Sango Border Post.

The smugglers had one 146kg bale of second-hand stockings and one 46kg bale of worn assorted ladies’ and men’s underwear.

After being intercepted, the owners of the knickers fled, according to Pasi.

“Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 193 (11) (C) of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02) that the following prohibited goods have been seized and will be dealt with in terms of Section 193(13) of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02) if proceedings are not instituted in terms of Section 193(12) of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02),” Pasi said in the notice.

“The goods were seized after the owners fled when they were intercepted along the Sango Border Post road and are currently being held in a state warehouse at Sango Border Post.”

The ailing economy in Zimbabwe has forced many people into purchasing second-hand underwear from markets which have either been supplied with the second hand stock or the underwear has been donated from other developed countries around the world.

Miriam Chidungwe, a vendor at a flea market in Mbare, told the Daily News on Sunday that used knickers are still finding their way into Zimbabwe.

“Some vendors are still selling used underwear. They smuggle them in and to be honest, people buy them,” Chidungwe said.

“If people didn’t buy them, then they would be no need for us to import (smuggle) them. Things are tough and they cannot afford to buy clothes from shops like Edgars.”

A law promulgated in January 2012 by the then Finance minister Tendai Biti made it illegal to import or sell used pants. He said he was shocked to discover many Zimbabweans in the poverty-stricken country buy used underwear from flea markets or stalls.

All new underwear imports attract 40 percent duty and 15 percent VAT and apply a $33 penalty for every kilogramme of pants entering the country.

The law is seen as a move to help protect Zimbabwe’s struggling domestic textiles industry.

The ban on second-hand imports was also meant to address the health concerns related to the wearing of second-hand underwear.

Comments (5)

This is a case of being caught between a hard rock and a wall. Zimbos are struggling to make ends meet they turn to tje most possible option and then the law forbids them at excising their right so its better to go underwearless for that is the only option available. To the law makes there is now smuggling because you have interfered with the market forces of supply and demand. To kill the problem make people afford the new nickers by providing sound policies which in turn will give people the bread and butter they want.

Gwenaz - 19 October 2014

but underwear is cheap in chinese shops. why buy used undies

cheap - 20 October 2014

Second hand underwear?? Is there such a thing!

Nduna - 20 October 2014

Chinese shops sell polyester/nylon panties which cook your genitalia in this hot weather. Edgars panties are badly designed and expensive . I am a professional woman and buy the pants from mabhero. Excellent cotton quality and well designed including no panty line showing.

mbuyavadee - 21 October 2014

Chakakodza guruve hachizivikanwe and if someone wants second hand why worry you go for first hand.

Gwenaz - 21 October 2014

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