Zimra tight­ens screws on un­ex­plained wealth

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Kuda Bwititi Chief Re­porter

PEO­PLE who ac­quired un­ex­plained wealth are liv­ing on bor­rowed time as the Zim­babwe Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (Zimra) has be­gun track­ing all in­di­vid­u­als whose in­come does not match their ex­pen­di­ture.

The clam­p­down is in line with the fight against fi­nan­cial crimes that are harm­ing the econ­omy.

The Sun­day Mail un­der­stands that Zimra will also work closely with the po­lice, Zim­babwe Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion and the Na­tional Pros­e­cu­tion Au­thor­ity to flush out eco­nomic crimes through the re­cently en­acted Statu­tory In­stru­ment on Un­ex­plained Wealth Or­ders and il­licit cur­rency deal­ers.

Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa re­cently used his Ex­ec­u­tive Pow­ers to craft the laws that will see il­le­gal for­eign cur­rency deal­ers fac­ing up to 10 years in jail while au­thor­i­ties will also have pow­ers to seize ill-got­ten wealth.

The Pres­i­dent has re­ferred to eco­nomic crimes as a na­tional se­cu­rity threat.

Re­spond­ing to ques­tions from The Sun­day Mail last week, Zimra Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Ms Faith Mazani said the rev­enue au­thor­ity has primed its de­part­ments to swoop on ill-got­ten wealth.

“Any form of in­come that is re­ceived by, ac­crues to a per­son from a source within Zim­babwe, or deemed to be from a source within Zim­babwe, is tax­able in the hands

of the re­cip­i­ent,” she said. “Tax­pay­ers are ex­pected to dis­close the source of in­come which would have been used to ac­quire their as­sets or is used in their day-to-day life.

“In short, in­come and ex­pen­di­ture should bal­ance. Zimra is en­cour­ag­ing vol­un­tary dis­clo­sure by af­fected in­di­vid­u­als up to the end of De­cem­ber 2018. There­after, en­force­ment mea­sures will be put in place to en­sure that the wealth is cor­rectly ac­counted for and taxed.”

Ms Mazani said Zimra em­ploy­ees sus­pected of en­gag­ing in il­licit deal­ings will not be spared. To date, the rev­enue au­thor­ity has con­ducted life­style au­dits for 116 of its work­ers. Of th­ese, 35 have un­der­gone dis­ci­plinary ac­tion or out­right dis­missal while 81 have been cleared of any wrong do­ing.

The Zimra boss said in or­der to deal with il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties, the rev­enue au­thor­ity has en­hanced joint check­points and bor­der pa­trols. Zimra has also adopted use of elec­tric cargo track­ing sys­tems, in­tru­sive in­spec­tion equip­ment and whis­tle blow­ing. Re­cently, the Min­istry of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment im­plored Zimra to clam­p­down on debtors to re­cover over $4, 5 bil­lion owed to the rev­enue au­thor­ity in un­paid taxes. Asked on the progress made in re­coup­ing this amount, Ms Mazani said, “The bal­ance owed now stands at $4,46 bil­lion and the net debt in­cludes rev­enue that is as­sessed through au­dits and other en­force­ment mea­sures.

“There is con­tin­u­ous di­a­logue with debtors and the fig­ure is ex­pected to go down sig­nif­i­cantly by end of De­cem­ber 2018.”

Po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba said the force will en­force the new laws without fear or favour.

“We stand ready to ap­ply the law in its en­tirety and we re­main guided by the statutes and the Con­sti­tu­tion,” she said.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the po­lice will soon launch an op­er­a­tion to clam­p­down on sus­pects.

“It is part of our prac­tise to carry out spe­cific op­er­a­tions tar­get­ing spe­cific crimes so given that this is a new law, we will roll out such op­er­a­tions so that we en­force the law to full ef­fect.”

Snr Ass Com Charamba said po­lice will closely work with other agen­cies.

Speak­ing at a po­lice pass out pa­rade ear­lier this month, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa en­cour­aged the po­lice to work with other agen­cies to com­bat cor­rup­tion and eco­nomic crimes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.