FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa has made moves to force the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Registrar General’s (RG) office and other government departments to remit revenue they collect to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), as treasury battles to raise funds to pay civil servants’ salaries and bonuses, as well as to sustain government operations.
The ZRP and RG’s office have been keeping the revenue they generate for their use despite protests from the Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Gershem Pasi, who has also called on government to force the police, RG’s office and Zimbabwe National Road Authority to contribute to the CRF to avoid the misuse of funds.
Last year Pasi told parliament that the ZRP raises between US$3 million and US$7 million every month in fines.
Government officials have however, revealed that Chinamasa has written to the police, RG’s office and other departments which retain funds, instructing them to channel all them to the CRF.
“Government departments are then expected to apply to treasury for any funds they require, giving solid reasons,” said an official.
The move to ensure the consolidation of revenue collection comes at a time when government’s revenue base continues to shrink because of the liquidity crunch which has resulted in company closures and low capacity utilisation, leading to job losses.
Rising fiscal pressure has seen government failing to pay civil servants their December salaries on time. Government has also failed to pay its workers bonuses despite a promise by President Robert Mugabe. Chinamasa’s move is in line with section 302 of the constitution, which states that government institutions should remit funds to treasury.
The section reads: “There is a Consolidated Revenue Fund into which must be paid all fees, taxes and borrowings and all other revenues of the government, whatever their source, unless an Act of Parliament requires or permits them to be paid into some other fund established for a specific purpose; or permits the authority that received them to retain them, or part of them, in order to meet the authority’s expenses.”
A government official said the police and the RG’s office collect millions of dollars monthly, which could help boost government’s coffers.
“The police and RG’s office make millions of dollars per month and if this is handed over to treasury, Chinamasa will not be having a difficult time to raise salaries for a bloated civil service,” said the source.
“The RG’s office raises close to US$120 000 every day. The office operates six days a week, meaning it generates US$720 000 every week, translating to close to US$3 million per month.
“ZRP equally raises a lot of money through fines. Every police station has a traffic section manning roadblocks in their areas of jurisdictions. The traffic sections are given daily targets which they meet and this also means a lot of money by the end of each month.”