Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority will now conduct polygraph testing of its employees, particularly those deployed at ports of entry and exit as the revenue collector intensifies its fight against corruption.
However, workers are livid over the move which they view as an infringement on their rights.
A polygraph also known as a lie detector, measures and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration and skin conductivity at a time one is being asked and answering a series of questions.
Zimra acting human resources and administration director Mrs Gamuchirai Makwangudze wrote to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Trade Union (Zimratu) on December, 19, 2016, advising them of the directive from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
“Reference is made to the discussion between the Zimratu president and the head of employee relations over the phone on the 17th December 2016,” said Mrs Makwangudze.
“During the meeting held on the 19th of August 2016, you were informed that the authority had received a directive from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to carry out polygraph testing of employees.
“We would like to inform you that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is now proceeding with the implementation of polygraph testing of employees transferred to strategic locations in the authority starting with those transferred to Beitbridge Border Post.”
She said the first batch were expected to go for testing between Tuesday and Friday this week.
“We note with grave concern your continuous violation of the workers’ rights by initiating a polygraph process unilaterally,” said Zimratu president Mr John Chirenda in his response.
“The union would also want to categorically deny ever discussing with Zimra this subject on the said date of 19 August 2016.
‘The issue discussed on the date in question was the abrupt transfer of workers by Zimra.
“The union would want to remind you that your intended actions are a serious and direct violation of Zimra workers.
“Zimratu is thus urging you to stop your planned tests and engage the union on this matter.”
The revenue collector recently embarked on a massive employee lifestyle audit including personal bank accounts, mobile money transfer and a search with the Deeds office to establish properties registered in its employees’ names or those of their nuclear family.
Employees are then asked to justify any suspicious bank deposits, mobile money transfer transactions and the source of funds for properties in their names, spouse or children’s names.
It is understood that hordes of employees, who failed to justify their transactions or the source of income for their properties have been sent packing on suspicion that they were engaged in corrupt activities.