The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) says it will now seize vehicles found transporting smuggled goods.
ZIMRA’s first quarter (Q1) 2021 report showed a decline in customs and excise duty as some traders opted to smuggle goods.
According to the report by ZIMRA Vice Board Chairperson Josephine Matambo, customs duty contributed 7.07 % and excise duty 12.51%. ZIMRA said:
Restrictions on the movement of vehicular and human traffic during the lockdown period created some risk to revenue collection as travellers opted to use undesignated ports of entry going in and out of the country.
Furthermore, the fight against corruption has been elevated to higher levels as Zimra seeks to seize and auction vehicles that are found transporting smuggled goods.
Meanwhile, Lawyer, Rumbidzai Venge said ZIMRA cannot just seize vehicles without following due procedure. Said Venge:
Vehicles cannot just be forfeited without following due procedure. At the moment, Section 172 of the Customs Duty and Excise Act speaks to allowing anyone caught in this position, an opportunity to either pay the duty or explain why there was no payment.
The ZIMRA report showed that the major contributors to net revenue collections for the taxman were companies contributing 19.98%, individuals 17.89% and VAT on local sales 13.48%.
This, according to ZIMRA Acting Commissioner General Rameck Masaira, is an indication that notwithstanding the pandemic the economy has largely remained robust. He said:
It has resulted in an improved performance in as far as tax collection is concerned