LEGISLATORS affiliated to the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (Apnac) on 25 May 2017 lauded Treasury and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) for embracing the electronic cargo tracking system (ECTS), saying the move would help reduce revenue leakages at the country’s border posts.“Illegal imports dumped into Zimbabwe have an unfair price advantage over locally manufactured goods and this has resulted in reduced capacity utilisation of local industries and the obvious loss of jobs,” Apnac said in a statement.
“Corruption is usually exacerbated by too much personal interface between duty bearers and clients resulting in familiarity and friendship, which is the basis of bribes and kickbacks.”
Mabvuku-Tafara MP James Maridadi chairs Apnac.
In March this year, Zimra acquired the ECTS valued at $2,1 million to monitor cargo at points of entry.
Apnac said the introduction of technology would take away the unsavoury personal interface and the opportunity to corruptly circumvent laid-down policies, processes and procedure.
Transparency International-Zimbabwe (TI-Z) cited Forbes Border Post as the most porous entry point used by cargo smugglers, particularly traders dealing in second-hand clothes, illicit beverages and unblended fuel products, which are eventually sold locally at uncompetitive prices.
Despite government enacting Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 banning imports of goods with local equivalents, smuggled clothes, groceries and fuel continue to find their way into the country.
TI-Z said high-value minerals such as gold and diamonds were also smuggled out of Zimbabwe through the Mozambique Channel, resulting in massive loss of revenue for the country.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepu Chimene recently claimed that top government officials and business cartels, as well as State security agents were also involved in the smuggling rackets. -Herald
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