The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has said the introduction of the 100 percent searches on goods being imported from South Africa has helped to reduce intrusive leakages and improved revenue collections.
In the last few days trucks used mainly by cross-border transporters commonly known as omalayitsha have been piling up at Beitbridge where Zimra has tightened screws on smuggling activities.
The Revenue Authority activated an imports relief facility to help Zimbabweans based in South Africa to send groceries and other goods home in commercial trucks through Beitbridge Border Post.
South Africa is home to thousands of Zimbabwean migrant workers, most of whom are supporting their families by sending groceries home through the services mostly of omalayitsha weekly.
The Zimbabweans are putting together goods and sending them home in trucks with the help of omalayitsha under the consolidated cargo facility.
Zimbabwe imports goods worth an estimated US$3 billion from South Africa annually.
Zimra’s Head Corporate Communications, Mr Francis Chimanda said yesterday that the authority was concerned with the rampant increase in cases of under declaration by those shipping goods under the consolidated cargo facility.
He said between June 1 and September 7 they intercepted 1 256 rigid trucks for various non-compliance offences and collected a total of $19,6 million in additional revenue at Beitbridge border alone.
“It is correct that every consolidated truck (omalayitsha) is searched because all their declarations are incorrect as far as the quantities and values are concerned.
“The risk management system in use in Customs provides for customs intervention in shipments that provide the most risk. We have noted that almost, if not all, shipments under this category have false declarations in terms of quantities and values,” he said.
Mr Chimanda said they were clearing an average of 16 rigid trucks carrying mostly groceries comprising cooking oil, bath soaps, washing powder and flour and at times furniture among other assorted goods daily.
He said the new facility of pre-clearance and prepayment has had a huge impact on revenues from omalayitsha.
Mr Chimanda said before the lockdown in March 2020, this sector (omalayitsha) contributed little to the fiscus.
The means transport that they used then (small pick-ups and huge trailers), he said, made it difficult to enforce searches and duty payments.
“The current scenario makes it mandatory for every omalayitsha to make a declaration and pay duty before they cross the border. There is no false claim to rebate as these goods are unaccompanied by their real owners.
This means that now everyone is paying customs duty. However, it is the issue of correct amount which is not being paid which we are addressing,” said Mr Chimanda.
He said they had noted that most importers were making false declaration believing that because they would have paid a small amount of duty, they will not be subjected to further compliance checks.
Mr Chimanda said Zimra had also discovered an increase in the number of commercial consignments which are disguised as consolidated private imports.
Such good, he said require submission of a bill of entry and this then delays finalisation of the processes.
“In the past those who used light vehicles for shipments used the false claim of Travellers’ Rebate using people in and around Beitbridge. This is no longer possible since no private persons are crossing the border due to the lockdown regulations in both countries,” said Mr Chimanda. -Chronicle
Watch: South Africans give notice to foreigners to leave SA before June 16
With no sign of economic hardships disappearing in Zimbabwe, those who have escaped to South Africa are living in fear as locals have threatened to chase them if they don’t leave on their own accord.
Warnings of an operation to get South Africa rid of foreign nationals on the 16th of June continue to circulate.
Recently, a video surfaced on social media showing the ogarnisers of the operation dubbed, OPERATION DUDULA serving seven day notices to some foreign nationals to vacate the country.
WE WILL BE REMOVING ALL ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS BY FORCE!!!
SIDUDULA INSIDE SHOPS AND HAWKERS
IF YOU ARE OPERATING ILLEGALLY YOU BETTER PACK AND GO BEFORE 16 JUNE 2021!!!
– reads the notice.
While the poster specifies that illegal foreigners will be targeted it however does not state that documented ones will be spared.
Such attacks, as occurred before, ended up targeting all immigrants regardless of their status.
Dudula which means “push” brings horrific and sad memories of xenophobic attacks that happened in the country in 2015. Many people were killed, some burnt alive, while some were left homeless as their homes were destroyed.
Just like it happened before, the South African Police Services (SAPS) ignored warnings of imminent attacks on immigrants which then led to the bloodshed.
Similarly, at this point, the SAPS or any government have not said anything about the threats on foreign citizens in their country.
In one of the videos circulating online, the pro Dudula Operation people can be heard blaming the loadshedding on illegal connections supposedly done by foreign nationals.
— izim (@izim_og) June 13, 2021
Local truck drivers have been at loggerheads with their foreign counterparts accusing them of stealing their jobs and accepting low wages and inhuman working conditions.
The situation has left the Zimbabwean and other foreign drivers prone to abuse even when they are legally in the country.
Members of a local drivers organisation, well known for violent attacks on drivers and trucks, have been targeting foreign drivers sjamboking them while recording videos which are then spread online.
They do this to humiliate their victims and instill fear on their colleagues.
It's now a game, playing with a man's feelings. So humiliating you may never know how the next victim will respond. This was at Majuba powerstation over the weekend. @SAPoliceService @Dotransport @dewamavhinga @hrw pic.twitter.com/nxKlMfShGT
— SA Trucker (@rsa_trucker) June 7, 2021
No reports of arrest of the perpetrators have been made yet.
For the Zimbabweans and other foreigners in the country, it remains to be seen if they will still call South Africa home after the June 16 2021.
The date concides with South Africa’s youth day when they commemorate the heroics of the youths of 1976 who were massacred by the army after revolting against apartheid.
Fraudster arrested after swipping for $390 000 groceries
A fraudster has been arrested after he swiped for groceries worth more than $398 000 at OK Supermarket in Hwange using a bank card that had been tampered with.
The man, Brian Pedzisa of Chitungwiza, was arrested on Thursday and is suspected to be among a gang of people who have been using cloned cards and other bank card related tactics to con various retail shops across the country.
Detectives on Thursday pounced on Pedzisa at the supermarket, moments after he was about to get out after swiping for groceries worth $396 384.
Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda confirmed the incident and said police were now looking for two other people linked to the sca
“On 10 June 2021 a gang of three fraudsters tried to defraud OK Hwange Supermarket of groceries worth $396 384.
One of the fraudsters successfully used an electronic Visa card to make purchases but before he could make off he was arrested by a team of watchful detectives who were working on a tip-off. Upon being interviewed the suspect revealed that he was working with two other accomplices who are still at large,” said Insp Banda.
He said the gang had used the same strategy to defraud OK Mart Victoria Falls of an undisclosed amount in groceries. He appealed to members of the public to assist with information leading to their arrest.
“The two accomplices are on the run anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of these two criminals can report at the nearest police station,” said Insp Banda.
He called on shop owners to enhance security to avoid such incidents which were on the rise in the country.
“As police we would like to implore shop owners to enhance security at their premises through use of alarm systems and Closed Circuit Television. Retailers should examine electronic cards and do necessary verifications before processing of electronic transactions. For the record some fraudsters misrepresent themselves as humanitarian workers.”
According to sources privy to the incident, the gang would approach the supermarkets seeking a quotation for groceries pretending that the transaction wanted would be effected from a nostro account. Later one of the gang members would return to make purchases using a Visa card whose microchip would have been tampered with. Sunday News
Gutu Inter-Africa bus and Honda Fit accident victims all from same family
GUTU- Police has announced names of the Gutu accident victims who were involved in a Honda Fit – Bus collision along the Gutu- Chivhu Highway yesterday.
The five were killed when their vehicle collided head-on with an Inter-Africa Bus near Matizha Business Centre in Gutu.
National Police Spokesperson Insp Paul Nyathi announced the names of the deceased family members who were travelling from Harare as Francis Chagweda (33)the driver, Mavis Chagweda (61), Lloyd Chagweda (31), Viola Chagweda (35) and Keresensia Mapaaona (28).
According to a family member, Oscar Chagweda the now deceased were travelling to Chiwara in Gutu for a family function when the tragedy happened.
An eyewitness told I ZIM that the accident occured after the Inter-Africa bus tried to overtake another bus. “It then encroached onto the lane of the oncoming Honda fit which swerved to avoid collision,” said the witness.
The Honda fit reportedly swerved off the road but the bus did the same resulting in the head on collision.
Only one person from the car survived the horific accident and was taken to Matizha clinic before she was transferred to Gutu Rural Hospital for treatment.
During the covid-19 induced Lockdown, government banned private kombis allowing only those registered under ZUPCO to operate resulting in little non-commercial vehicles overloading passengers.
Yesterday, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as the Health and Child Care Minister announced another Covid -19 regulations which gave a waiver to public transport operators.
However, the transport sector is also now dominated by “mushikashika” vehicles some of which include Toyota Wish and Honda fit vehicles who have the capacity to carry 4 or 5 passengers , however some of these vehicles end up carrying as many as nine passengers.