Wednesday 21 June 2023


THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority have joined forces to curb the abuse of tax rebates extended to civil servants by the Government so they could import vehicles duty free, and the two agencies have seized 36 vehicles since the start of the operation.

The corruption and abuse starts with a civil servant importing a vehicle for someone else and charging a fee of between US$700 and US$1 500 depending on the type of vehicle. The vehicle however, remains registered in the names of the civil servant involved while being driven by others.

According to the National Anti-Corruption Commission Strategy sub-committee 2 report presented last week, investigations into the misuse of Government rebates are still in progress and huge successes are being registered.

There has been great co-operation between agencies with the team now working together towards the same goals.

Numerous car dealers arrested by ZACC have since appeared before the courts for allegedly importing vehicles using fake civil service rebate letters.

The anti-graft committee seeks to enhance structures for deterrence, through detection, adherence, improved compliance with anti-corruption and integrity management and enforcement obligations and mechanisms across sectors.

Joint investigations are being conducted by ZACC, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and ZIMRA.

When contacted for comment, ZACC spokesperson Commissioner Thandiwe Mlobane said she could not immediately give further details.

Many car dealers in Harare and other areas are reportedly importing vehicles in the name of civil servants duty-free and the civil servants, if they do not want a duty-free car themselves, can get a payment for allowing their name to be used to evade customs duty.

This fraud has prejudiced the State of revenue as people who should pay duty are now importing cars for free, and while some of the saved duty ends up with a civil servant rather than the car buyer, and the Government still loses out.

The imported cars often end up on display at car sales and other garages.

Conditions for the rebate are that the State employee must have a valid driver’s licence, must have served for not less than 10 years, only one car can be imported every five years and the car value depends on the employee’s grade. Herald


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