The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority introduced modern technology in its operations to reduce corruption and smuggling of goods through the country’s borders, a senior official has said. It is understood that the State is losing a lot of potential revenue due to the rampant smuggling of goods.
Previously Zimra relied on the Asycuda ++ which was open to manipulation by its officers thereby fuelling corruption and smuggling of goods.
Zimra’s director of legal and corporate affairs Ms Florence Jambwa said the Asycuda World (automated system for customs data) was more efficient and advanced system for customs data processing since it is internet based.
She said the new operating system was mainly used for clearing commercial cargo.
Under the new order any clearing agent registered with Zimra can lodge a bill of entry from anywhere in the world where there is internet.
“Asycuda World leaves a permanent audit trail of whatever transaction an officer has done in the system. This is useful in curbing any underhand dealings that may occur,” said Ms Jambwa.
“The system can also be checked by managers from anywhere in the world and at any time since it is internet-based. Asycuda World also takes away officer/client direct interface.”
Ms Jambwa said they had adopted a zero tolerance to corruption and any cases of misconduct among their workers.
“We do not tolerate corruption and any cases of misconduct are dealt with in accordance with the authority’s code of conduct. I am, however, unable to furnish you with exact statistics at the moment,” she said.
A total of eight officers were this year suspended for engaging in various acts of graft and facilitating smuggling.
Ms Jambwa said to improve efficiency the revenue authority also introduced scanners for searches on mainly non-intrusive items.
She said the scanners increase the number of examinations that can be carried out on cargo and also help in the detection of concealed contraband.