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Zimra to proceed with lie detectors on workers despite protests

By Lloyd Gumbo

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) will proceed with polygraph testing of all its employees despite protests from the workers’ representatives.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development recently ordered the revenue collector to subject its staff to lie detectors’ question and answer sessions starting with those who were deployed to ports of entry and exit, recently.

Insiders said after a meeting between the workers’ representatives and acting Commissioner General Mr Happias Kuzvinzwa recently, the polygraph tests had been suspended indefinitely while they consult on the matter.

But responding to emailed questions, Zimra director of legal and corporate services, Ms Florence Jambwa, said polygraph testing was one of the numerous initiatives being implemented to fight corruption.

“Zimra has zero tolerance to corruption and has put in place numerous measures to curb the scourge, such as vetting of potential employees, anti-corruption hotlines, asset declarations and lifestyle audits,” said Ms Jambwa.

“These measures have resulted in some Zimra officers being dismissed in accordance with the Authority’s Code of Conduct for engaging in corrupt activities. Polygraph testing will thus, complement these measures.

“Fighting corruption is a common goal, which is shared by all members of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

“To this end, everyone within Zimra is eager to ensure that corruption is eradicated and will welcome implementation of strategies to fight corruption, such as polygraph testing.”

Ms Jambwa said the lie detector tests that would cover everyone including management, would be done by an independent service provider.

The revenue collector recently embarked on a massive employee lifestyle audit including personal bank accounts, mobile money transfers and a search at the Deeds office to establish properties registered in its employees’ names or those of their nuclear family members.

Employees are then asked to justify any suspicious bank deposits, mobile money transfer transactions and the source of funds for properties in their names, spouse or children’s names.

It is understood that hordes of employees who failed to justify their transactions or the source of income for their properties have been sent packing on suspicion that they were engaging in corrupt activities. The Herald

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