Zimra ad­dresses bor­der op­er­a­tions chal­lenges

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Zimbabwe Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (Zimra) has started ad­dress­ing op­er­a­tional chal­lenges at Beit­bridge Bor­der Post as part of pro­mot­ing the ease of do­ing busi­ness and stim­u­lat­ing na­tional eco­nomic growth, an of­fi­cial has said.

Speak­ing dur­ing a fa­mil­iari­sa­tion tour of the coun­try and Sadc’s busiest in­land port of en­try by Beit­bridge East Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, Cde Al­bert Miles Ngu­lu­vhe, Zimra shift man­ager Mr Paul Mutembo said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was stream­lin­ing some of the op­er­a­tions at the bor­der post to al­low free flow of peo­ple and goods as well as max­imise rev­enue col­lec­tion.

“We are work­ing on a num­ber of strate­gies to im­prove the flow of both cargo and hu­man traf­fic. So far we have beefed up staff at our crew desk which deals with im­ports and ex­ports. These have been sep­a­rated into im­ports and ex­ports. Pre­vi­ously, this task was be­ing han­dled from one desk. We have added four more of­fi­cers and opened an­other crew desk ded­i­cated for ex­ports only. The ex­port desk is cur­rently be­ing ca­pac­i­tated with the nec­es­sary tools to bring op­er­a­tions up to speed in the short­est pos­si­ble time.”

He said the au­thor­ity would con­tinue to re­view op­er­a­tions in line with mod­ern cus­toms and ex­cise stan­dards. The crew desk is re­spon­si­ble for pro­cess­ing com­mer­cial en­tries of im­ports and ex­ports. Ini­tially, two of­fi­cers were tasked with han­dling all the cargo im­ports but the num­ber has been in­creased to eight. It is un­der­stood that an av­er­age of 670 im­ports and 100 ex­port bills of en­tries are pro­cessed per day at Beit­bridge Bor­der Post. A Bill of en­try is used to clear com­mer­cial goods.

The Ship­ping and For­ward­ing Agents’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Zimbabwe (SFAAZ) re­cently called on Zimra to beef up op­er­a­tions and to re­view its stan­dard op­er­a­tions pro­ce­dures. The or­gan­i­sa­tion’s chair­per­son (Beit­bridge chap­ter), Mr John Ndaza said the crew desk was short staffed and that the de­vel­op­ment had re­sulted in the slow move­ment of com­mer­cial cargo.

The MP said there was an ur­gent need to ca­pac­i­tate the bor­der of­fi­cials who were do­ing the best to curb leak­ages and max­imise rev­enue col­lec­tions to fund key Govern­ment pro­grammes.

“This tour had been an eye opener. It is ap­par­ent that you are do­ing your level best to in­crease the rev­enue col­lec­tion base. What is then needed is for Govern­ment to im­prove your ca­pac­ity through the pro­vi­sion of the nec­es­sary tools for you to de­liver.

It is also im­por­tant for the bor­der au­thor­i­ties to ar­range fa­mil­iari­sa­tion tours for the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the bor­der users. These in­clude trans­porters, clear­ing agents and cross bor­der traders. This will give them an op­por­tu­nity to con­trib­ute to the im­prove­ment of op­er­a­tions here from an in­formed point of view,” said Cde Ngu­lu­vhe.

It is es­ti­mated that 70 per­cent of Zimra rev­enue is col­lected at Beit­bridge alone. Zimra is re­port­edly col­lect­ing at least $400 mil­lion in com­mer­cial cargo alone at Beit­bridge Bor­der Post an­nu­ally.

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