By Leonard Ncube
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is targeting to establish virtual border posts where travellers and their cargo will be cleared in less than five minutes.
This was said by Zimra Commissioner-General Ms Faith Mazani while officiating at the International Customs Day commemorations in Victoria Falls last week.
Ms Mazani said the One-Stop-Border post concept being implemented would be fully packaged to enhance efficient movement of goods and people and complement the Government vision for economic transformation by year 2030.
She said Zimra which surpassed its annual revenue target of $4,3 billion after collecting about $5 billion in 2018, was committed to fighting corruption and sealing porous borders to help the country achieve its goals.
“We have made effective use of innovative technology to improve efficiency and risk management that ultimately prevents revenue leakages.
“The use of ICT products and systems such as scanners at ports of entry, cargo tracking devices, online systems and other innovative products contribute immensely to smooth trade and travel.
“The Electronic Temporary Import Permit project (e-TIP) has been so successful in dealing with border congestion at Beitbridge Border Post during this past festive season as it allowed travellers to pre-clear their vehicles online thereby reducing congestion.
“We are now working at improving the e-TIP system so that visitors will spend an average of between three to five minutes to get their temporary import permits processed,” said Ms Mazani.
She said work would soon start at Beitbridge, Kazungula, Plumtree and Victoria Falls border posts towards establishing a One-Stop border concept.
Ms Mazani said engagements were underway between the Government and Zimra on the need for patrol vehicles and drones to monitor border posts and seal porous ports of entry and curb corruption.
Speaking at the same occasion, guest of honour Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Richard Moyo whose speech was read by Hwange District Administrator Mr Simon Muleya commended Zimra for leading the way in nation building.
“The theme augurs well with the nationwide desire to improve our economy. Zimra is playing its part in building the nation by promoting, maintaining and developing trade relations with foreign countries and businesses,” he said
He said Zimbabwe is strategic in Southern Africa since as the gateway to the region’s North-South corridor through the Beitbridge and Chirundu Border posts hence the smart borders concept.
The theme for this year’s commemorations was: “SMART borders for seamless Trade, Travel and Transport” which speaks to creation of safer, standardised and cost effective processes.
The Smart border concept seeks to ensure that borders are secure and have measurable standards and automated processes to national security. The international Customs Day was set aside by the World Customs Organisation. Sunday News.