Charles Mabhena

After having had secured a comfortable third position on the corruption league table, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has finally tried shrug off its bad boy image by suspending bosses over corruption.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)’s Zimbabwe Corruption in Business Survey 2016 have revealed that the police and the State Procurement Board (SPB) as the most corrupt institutions in Zimbabwe with ZIMRA coming third on the log table.

Corruption cases concerning ZIMRA have been documented for years, with officials on the country’s borders implicated for various corrupt activities.

Acting on the forensic audit done by the Deloitte and Touche Chartered Accountants, the authority recently suspended 8 more of its managers most of them in its ICT department on allegations of engaging in under hand dealings.

This follows yet another suspension of 7 others last May, including Geshem Pasi its boss on acts of corruption and bad corporate governance.

In August 2016, six officials in Beitbridge Border Post were caught in camera through Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) accepting bribes, installed by the government.

Corruption by ZIMRA officials involve tampering with stamps for those who had overstayed in the country, on duty paid for imports, to facilitate smuggling of prohibited and restricted goods among others.

Cases of officials arrested for facilitating illegal immigrants were also recorded.

Most recent, the authority announced its intention to introduce Lie detectors at the country’s busiest port of entry as it steps up efforts to nip up corruption involving its employees, who were not happy with the idea.

It is believed corruption by ZIMRA officials at the borders have caused losses for the Treasury in potential revenue.

According to the CZI survey, the level of corruption since 2013, has increased a lot. Almost a third are being subjected to requests or demands for bribes, or what were felt to be unfair fines from public officials, in return for services.

Respondents were asked about their perception of 14 government departments and agencies when it comes to corruption, based on the proportion that named a particular agency as ‘always’, ‘almost always’ or ‘mostly’ corrupt, and the police came up tops.

The Police, followed by the State Procurement Board (SPB) are deemed to be the most corrupt by respondents, followed by ZIMRA and the City Health Department.

The Department of Works and Building Inspectorate, the Licensing Office at the Municipality, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and the Registrar of Companies were also among the top contenders for the cup.