The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) succeeded the then Department of Taxes and the then Department of Customs and Excise with effect from September 1, 2001 following the amalgamation of the two former departments. On September 1, 2009, ZIMRA commemorated eight years of service. The following are some of the important historical milestones achieved by ZIMRA since 2001.
Surpassing Revenue Targets
Improved operational efficiency saw the Authority surpassing revenue targets as set by the Government (through the Ministry of Finance) since inception despite a background of a shrinking revenue base and an unfavourable macro-economic climate.
Vital Cog in Fiscal Matters
In addition to a history of surpassing revenue targets, ZIMRA has also been a vital cog in economic development and the facilitation of trade and travel. The Authority advises Government on fiscal matters and this has resulted in the successful introduction of fiscal policies whose impact has been to widen the revenue base. ZIMRA has spearheaded research and development on fiscal reforms that include the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) in 2004; Presumptive Taxes in 2006; the Self Assessment System of Taxation in 2007; Road Tolls in 2009; and a host of other worthwhile reforms.
ZIMRA has put in place various measures to improve operational efficiency. Examples include:
- Introduction of 24 hour service at Beitbridge Border Post
- Introduction of the Chirundu One Stop Border Post
- Extension of operating hours at border posts such as Forbes, Plumtree, Chirundu and Nyamapanda
- Expansion to remote areas through the opening up of new offices that include Zvishavane, Chinhoyi and Kadoma
- Opening up of satellite offices in places like Marondera and Karoi
- Migration from Asycuda++ to Asycuda World
- Construction of non-intrusive x-ray inspection equipment platforms at some stations
- Introduction of patrol vehicles to facilitate cargo monitoring and anti-smuggling initiatives
- Launch of the World Customs Organisation electronic learning platform at the ZIMRA Training Centre
- Intensified information dissemination to inculcate a culture of voluntary compliance, mainly through print and electronic media
- Increased compliance checks, site visits, post importation audits, border patrols and road blocks to ensure compliance with revenue laws
Staff Development Initiatives
ZIMRA, which uses a performance management system to measure and direct individual performance towards the achievement of organisational strategic objectives, has implemented a number of staff development and welfare programmes. Of particular note is the establishment of a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Fiscal Studies in collaboration with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).
The programme opened to the public in 2007 and other institutions in the region have expressed an interest in enrolling their students. The Authority also uses its well established in-house training centre to offer various programmes to staff some of which include ICDL as well as Customs and Taxes laws and procedures.
Beam of the Region
On the international scene, ZIMRA has left an indelible mark for Zimbabwe as a host of choice for the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Value Added Tax Administrators in Africa (VADA), World Customs Organisation – East and Southern Africa (WCO-ESA) and the African Union Heads of Customs. In 2009, ZIMRA successfully hosted the Regional Steering Group Meeting and the Governing Council Meeting (which was graced by the presence of the WCO Secretary General, Mr Kunio Mikuriya) of the WCO-ESA Region as well as the SADC Sub-Committee on Customs Cooperation (SCCC) meeting.
Integrity, Transparency and Fairness
ZIMRA has religiously upheld its core values which are Integrity, Transparency and Fairness through fighting corruption. This fight has mainly been through a whistleblowersâ€™ programme and working in partnership with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders.