Zimra responds to Zacc investigations

HARARE - Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) says it will take action against its employee Charles Juare, who has been implicated in a bribery storm, only after the investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Committee (Zaac) are complete.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News, after a breakfast meeting with the telecommunications industry at a local hotel yesterday, the Zimra Commissioner-General Faith Mazani, said th authority only awaits tangible evidence in order to act.

This comes as Zacc announced on Wednesday that it was closing in on Jaure who allegedly demanded a bribe from a whistle blower.

“When we get information we investigate, and we will take action against anyone who is found wanting. I call upon anyone with information to come to me in person and we will take action. What we want is tangible evidence.

“The person should come to us; we can’t act on something that has been said in the media.”

Allegations are that last year Jaure demanded a bribe from a whistle blower to expedite his payments after he reported NetOne for tax evasion of non-resident tax, withholding tax, value added tax, income tax, special exercise due on airtime and pay as your earn in 2015.

Zimra allegedly recovered about $18 million.

Mazani said smuggling of goods into the country remains a major concern and Zimra is working with security forces to arrest the problem.

“It is a major cause of concern; goods are coming in from many countries, some from South Africa, Dubai, through our airports and borders.

“The problem is our borders are very porous, people can go in anywhere; take for instance in Plumtree where different villages make way into Botswana. We have, however, developed means like scanning and roadblocks, where we know that if something passes through the boards we can stop them, and catch those that are trying to smuggle.

“We are not working alone we are working with security officers. Some of the smugglers are using force and some are even bribing officers.”

Zimra hosted yesterday’s breakfast meeting to build and improve relationships with the telecommunications industry.

During the meeting, Internet service providers raised complaints about “double-taxation” by the revenue authority.

Players in the sector complained that excise duty is levied on both the service providers and the retailers.

Mazani said the much pilloried tax-collector only follows government policy.

“You heard me indicating that we receive policy from government. Yes we advise but it is their (government) prerogative to put policy. Once there is a policy produced by government we have to implement it as is,” she said.

“We feel it’s an area that might need intervention. We understand the pain it paints on our clients, the taxpayers. Eventually it is the ministry that will pronounce the law.”

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