Zimra cracks down on vehicle importers

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has launched a crackdown against car importers as it bids to stamp out corrupt practices and revenue leakages which have seen the authority suspending its top management.

This also comes as the tax agency has been engulfed in a scandal of its own surrounding the alleged understatement of duties for vehicles of its executives and the revenue collector has been struggling to meet its targets due to rampant company closures over the past three years, and high unemployment levels.

The Zimra blitz, which was announced yesterday, triggered panic among importers and buyers who traded in vehicles between January 2014 and June 2016, as they are all now required to furnish the tax collector with their importation documents between now and the end of September.

“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is carrying out an exercise to verify whether motor vehicles imported into the country were properly cleared in accordance with the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act,” read part of the authority’s statement.

Although the notice appealed to motorists to approach Zimra’s offices and get “confirmation of proper clearance”, members of the public who spoke to the Daily News yesterday expressed the fear that the authority was trying to charge duty in retrospect as part of shoring up its waning revenue base.

“The timing of the exercise raises eyebrows. We expect Zimra to have this information that they are requesting from the motoring public. They have the data and so why should they ask people to visit them? We think that this is a fishing expedition which could result in them charging duty in retrospect,” said one concerned motorist.

Zimra warned that it would take stern measures on all those people who would have defied its calls for submission of importation documents.

“Please utilise this opportunity to get the clearance for your motor vehicle regularised. If you fall into the category of importers of motor vehicles which were imported within the period in which Zimra wants to check ... and you fail to comply within the period provided for in this notice, you risk having your motor vehicle seized where ever it is found,” it said.

Zimra has over the past few months embarked on an anti-corruption drive, in a bid to curb corrupt activities among its staff at ports of entry.

The national tax collector was recently rocked by a vehicle importation scam which sucked in its top directors — resulting in them being sent on forced paid leave to facilitate investigations.

Comments (3)

@sa manyika &diibulaanyika,yu two need not to worry as its motor vehicle importers we are targeting here not yu who have recently imported bicycles

truth - 27 July 2016

that's too shallow move &gareaway Zimra

Mugabereka - 28 July 2016

you ZIMRA staff u a all THIEVES,

muchazvirega - 28 July 2016

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