Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) board chairperson William Bonyongwe’s stay at the tax collector could be coming to an end amid indications government is unlikely to renew her contract when it expires this month.
Sources said Bonyongwe, who introduced sweeping reforms at Zimra, will be replaced for a number of reasons, which include the breakdown of the Automated Systems for Customs Data (Ascyuda) platform which saw around US$20 million in potential revenue being lost.
The same sources said government will take this opportunity to remove her from the board.
Bonyongwe is the wife of former Central Intelligence Organisation boss Happyton. Her husband, who had become Justice minister in the twilight of Robert Mugabe’s administration, was dropped from cabinet last November.
The Ascyuda system at Beitbridge border post broke down in December last year, effectively slowing down the processing of commercial cargo entering Zimbabwe through the entry point.
When the system broke down, deputy finance minister Terence Mukupe directed blame at the Zimra board, headed by Bonyongwe.
“The board members including their chairperson are fully aware of these challenges. They chose to be complacent and allowed a total collapse of the system.
“I will present my recommendations on the fate of the Zimra board to my boss (Minister Patrick Chinamasa) who will have the final say,” Mukupe said earlier this year after touring the Beitbridge border post.
The Beitbridge entry point, which links Zimbabwe and South Africa, is the busiest port of entry in the country, in terms of revenue collections.
Bonyongwe is also reportedly facing resistance from within the board for introducing sweeping changes at Zimra, which include banning the digital recording of meetings.
She took the decision to scrap digital recording of meeting proceedings, reportedly to stimulate free and interactive debate among members.