36 Zimbabwe Revenue Authority(ZIMRA) employees have been suspended on corruption charges.
Lifestyle audit conducted by the revenue collection agency showed that these individuals acquired properties with the proceeds gained from corruption.
Through the lifestyle audit which is currently ongoing done in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission, it was found that these ZIMRA employees are living large and beyond their means.
“Between January and June this year, a total of 36 officers were suspended pending an investigation following lifestyle audits,” Zimra Commissioner-General Faith Mazani said.
She mentioned that the process of recovering ill-gotten wealth is ongoing.
“We have a code of conduct which is applicable to our staff. One of the things that we did was to carry out lifestyle audits. Where criminality is detected, we hand over the cases to the police or other investigating arms,” she said.
“Where we feel they have assets beyond the income that we are aware of, we then ask them to explain the source of the income.”
Mazani said many officers were found to be building houses, going for holidays and buying cars which were beyond their expected lifestyles.
Previous forensic audits have unearthed irregularities touching on the revenue collector’s vehicle loan scheme and the importation of cars by the five executives, executive perquisites, salaries, loans to senior management, staff secondment and the procurement of goods and services, among others.
The audits have exposed massive corruption linked to top executives.
Approximations show that the tax collector is losing millions yearly to corruption. In a bid to curtail the high corruption levels at Zimra, the taxman earlier did structural changes in critical positions, refocusing divisional mandates and hiring additional critical skills.
Zimra also organised for toll-free hotlines to receive reports on corruption, carry out asset declarations and lifestyle audits on staff members.
Featured Image Courtesy: John Manzongo