THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has excelled in terms of domestic resource mobilisation (DRM), which continues to anchor the country’s economic resilience and sustainable financing of Government development programmes.
By end of third quarter in September this year, Zimra had clocked a cumulative $311,54 billion in revenue collections for the nine months period against a target of $279,22 billion, which is 11,57 percent above target.
The country’s revenue collection performance has remained positive in the course of the year despite the adverse impact of the Covid-19-induced lockdown measures on businesses and individual consumers.
Economic experts say strong domestic resource mobilisation, coupled with a resilient industry and export sectors, have anchored economic recovery in the absence of external financing.
This year the country has a national budget of $421 billion and the Treasury has ruled out a supplementary budget.
In remarks to mark Zimra’s 20th anniversary at an event held in Harare on Wednesday evening, Finance and
Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube applauded Zimra for executing its mandate with exception.
He said since the revenue authority’s establishment in 2001, the same year illegal sanctions were imposed on the country, Zimra has played a key role in mobilising resources that have kept the country afloat.
“These sanctions have remained as an albatross around our economic and social development efforts and as such, we continue to urge those who imposed the unjustified sanctions to unconditionally remove them in order for Zimbabwe to realise her full potential,” said Prof Ncube.
“With that background in mind it is, therefore, not a surprise that Zimra is one of the few revenue administrations in sub-Saharan Africa, which did not benefit, at its inception, from external grants and funding, which was being extended to such new Revenue Authorities.
“As such, Zimra is an institution we are proud of because it was and still is a pure-bred entity, born and bred by the Government of Zimbabwe until it came of age to be what it is today.”
Prof Ncube said the Government was pleased with how Zimra has grown and matured into a formidable cog that is driving the economy.
He said although international credit lines closed when the sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe, the revenue collector has become a DRM champion and has ensured that budgetary funding gaps were closed to a greater extent.
Prof Ncube said Zimra had fully embraced the concept of DRM adding that between 2001 and 2020 it has contributed a cumulative US$39, 8 billion to the State.
“This has enabled the Government to meet its obligations to the people of Zimbabwe through the provision of education, healthcare, water, and infrastructure development,” he said.
“Since 2001, they have helped the country to stand on its feet by providing over 90 percent of the country’s budgetary resources annually.”
Since 2001, the minister said Zimra has been able to surpass its annual revenue collection targets averaging US$1,84 billion by collecting at least US$1,99 billion yearly. He said since 2003, the entity has facilitated exports worth US$58,2 billion and imports worth US$86 billion.
Targets, he said, were slightly missed in 2001, 2009, 2014 and 2016 due to different internal shocks Zimra has had to grapple with over the said years.
“The positive spirit, drive and dedication of the Zimra team to collect and timely remit tax collections due to the State has proved beyond reasonable doubt that indeed, as per President Mnangagwa’s call, ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo\ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo’,” said Prof Ncube.
“As the Second Republic we will continue to build a better and modern Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans, brick by brick as we gravitate towards an upper middle-income society by 2030.”
The minister said state entities such as Zimra serve as key development nodes through employment creation, development of local economies, stimulating downstream industries and services, particularly in stations they are based.
Currently, Zimra has 2 750 workers countrywide and 618 of these are part of the pioneer group that joined the organisation at its formation on September 1, 2001.
Prof Ncube said Zimra, which owns housing property worth US$11 million, was contributing to the country’s infrastructure development policies by rolling out a number of initiatives among them ongoing housing projects for its workers.
Some of the projects are being implemented in Plumtree, Beitbridge, Victoria Falls, Kazungula, Nyamapanda, and Mt Selinda among other centres.
So far, the organisation has invested US$23, 9 million in office infrastructure development projects, excluding the Beitbridge Border Post upgrade.
“In the region, I have been informed that Zimra runs a training centre that is certified by the World Customs Organisation, which is fully utilised by local members of staff as well as others from revenue administrations in the region and beyond.
“Such an institution does not only build the capacity of regional member states on taxation and customs but also empowers members from the rest of Africa in light of the concept of the African Continental Free Trade,” said Prof Ncube. —