THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has acquired new technology to help plug revenue leakages, particularly from minerals.
Zimra commissioner general Gershom Pasi said the revenue collector had acquired new state-of-the-art mobile scanners and fixed scanners that are being installed at various ports of entry as part of the initiative.
“We are also going to acquire body scanners in due course and this should help in terms of mineral leakages,” Pasi said.
“Our staff are being trained continuously, especially on minerals because it’s a bit complex and also new minerals are being discovered in the country.”
Pasi told a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries business ethics symposium Zimra was using new Information Communication Technology to curb corruption.
“We have gone to the use of technology in a big way to ensure data integrity and prevent fraud and human error. In the next 18 months from now, we will be seeing a transformed revenue authority,”
Zimra had put in place self-assessment systems, scanners, electronic banking as well as electronic systems for the payment of duties and taxes, among other technologies, to reduce corruption.
Pasi’s statements on mining revenues come after newly-appointed Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa recently said all cases of corruption in the extractive industry would be dealt with to ensure transparency and accountability.
Government has been pushing for capacitation of Zimra to effectively collect taxes and royalties to curb corruption that has cost the country millions of dollars through mineral leakages, given the significant contribution of the sector to revenues.
In the first half of 2013, Zimra reported that mining companies paid US$81,1 million to the revenue collector.
In his 2012 mid-term fiscal policy review, former Finance minister Tendai Biti proposed to involve Zimra in all mining operations, from extraction to marketing to ensure transparency in the production, valuation and marketing of minerals.
To that end, Zimra has been building capacity, especially in the grading and valuation of diamonds and other precious minerals. The revenue collector has been empowered to have physical presence at mines to facilitate monitoring of extraction, sorting, weighing, sealing and recording processes at mines.
Zimra is now empowered to monitor the receipting, storage, evaluation, grading, polishing as well as auctioning of minerals and the processing of export documents.