THIS is an open letter to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner-general Gershem Pasi.
Perhaps you could see it fit to avail manpower and resources at the Plumtree border
post in numbers proportionally matched to your insatiable appetite for foreign currency and harmonised to the sheer volume of bizarre regulations visitors are confronted with every time they visit.
I stood in a single queue at the Plumtree border post for four-and-a-half hours from 9am till about 1pm on July 16 in an effort to change 110 pula into Zimbabwe dollars. The overwhelmed solitary RBZ officer had been working since 6am unassisted and despite her best efforts was only able to process one customer every 10 or so minutes due to your semi-computerised-semi-manual system!
Zimra is no better. It is just as inefficient and lackadaisical. Ever since carbon tax was introduced one official handles all carbon tax processing and receipting at a rate of one customer every eight minutes. And it doesn’t help that they either use problematic computer systems and printers, do not know how to operate them, or both.
Visiting family in Zimbabwe through the Plumtree border post is comparable to having a hip replacement. It is a painful experience that can take anything up to six hours and you will never want to go through it again.
There are no signs, there is no queuing system and there is a different queue for everything under the sun. I only know all this because I am a Plumtree border veteran. Now, try putting yourself in the shoes of a first-time visitor.
Whereas I am fairly resilient and will have to put up with anything you throw my way this kind of incompetence and ineptitude is sure to chase the few remaining forex-paying tourists entering Zimbabwe by road away. Several were in the queue with me and swore never to set foot in Zimbabwe again.
Please get your act together. You are choking out the little remaining life left in Zimbabwe’s tourism sector and discouraging Zimbabweans in the region from coming home.