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    Monday, 15 July 2019

    Zimra racks in $494 m at Beitbridge

    Budget, Finance and Economic Development Parliamentary portfolio committee during a tour of Beitbridge border post

    • Drones considered for border monitoring
    • Parly committee condemns accommodation for Zimra workers


    ELLEN MLAMBO
    BEITBRIDGE BUREAU

    BEITBRIDGE –
    Zimra has racked in $494 million from Beitbridge Border Post, a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development has been told.
    The Committee which is chaired by Chikomba Central MP, Felix Tapiwa Mhona heard this during a tour aimed at giving Parliament an insight into the operations at the border, challenges faced and to recommend budgetary support in terms of ZIMRA operations.
    ZIMRA  regional manager (Beitbridge) Innocent Chikuni told the committee during a pre-tour briefing held at the Rainbow NSSA Hotel that the $494 million was way above their target of $378m. The target was surpassed by 30 percent.
    As part of the tour, the party saw operations at the mobile scanners section, baggage scanners and the customs section.
    Chikuni said some of the problems usually attributed to Zimra were outside its scope of operation as these are caused by a porous border. He said the border is
    porous from Beitbridge to Chikwalakwala which is a stretch of 130km. He said targeted joint operations with ZRP are conducted particularly at the bus rank.
    He bemoaned the state of cars used by Zimra with some of them more than 10 years old. Staff accommodation in Beitbridge is expensive and the revenue authority is paying $59 000 a month for its workers, said Chikuni.
    “One of the challenges here is accommodation, it is very expensive. The rent is going for $220 per room and the total bill for staff is $59 000. We have 18 vehicles, 7 are in fair condition and 13 are more than 10 years old,” said Chikuni.
    Speaking in an interview after the tour, Mhona said that his team had seen that the monitoring of the border is difficult and the idea of using drones must be seriously considered.  The committee also witnessed shortages of human personnel where staff is operating for long hours and have no proper accommodation.
    “The essence of this tour is to ascertain how we can add value in terms of the operations of the border post,” said Mhona
     “ZIMRA is crucial in terms of revenue generation and as a committee we are mandated to do the oversight role. We will recommend budgetary support in terms of ZIMRA operations,” said Mhona.
    He also said the situation where travelers are searched at more than three check points was not good for business particularly in light of President Mnangagwa’s call for ease of doing of business.
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