Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has started adapting to technology as part of the new way of doing business to prevent the spread of Covid-19, an official has said.
Zimra Commissioner-General, Ms Faith Mazani, made the remarks during the organisation’s annual general meeting last week.
She said the Covid-19 pandemic had transformed the world in a number of aspects, including the way of doing business, hence the need for a paradigm shift.
“The current business-as-usual model will never return and as Zimra we have started making positive strides in establishing a new normal,” said Ms Mazani.
“Our new normal strategy will be anchored on; less human contact and more digital services, less brick and mortar and more virtual. To that effect, Zimra requires more investment in ICT development and business process re-engineering.
“So far we have successfully offered essential services during all phases of the lockdown period through compliance with Government directives and implementing Covid-19 mitigation structures across Zimra stations countrywide.”
Ms Mazani said they were implementing a number of measures to minimise human interface between their employees and clients.
In some cases, managers and the rest of staffers were effectively working from home.
Ms Mazani said one of their employees who tested positive for Covid-19 at the Bulawayo office had fully recovered.
Zimra announced recently that it had come up with online communication and goods clearance practices which remove contact between officers and clients.
The authority has created dedicated emails for sending or receiving letters, documents and requests to offices for purposes of private clearances of motor vehicles; various rebates, for example immigrants rebate clearances or Covid-19 essential goods rebate and pre-clearance facilities for consolidated groceries.
“This is in addition to the use of the internet-based ASYCUDA system for clearance of commercial cargo,” said Ms Mazani.
Zimra is regularly providing information on the disease to staffers and clients and also maintaining appropriate hygiene, including the disinfection of work stations.
Other measures include the provision of appropriate personal protective equipment to employees, the maintenance of social distancing, temperature screening and sanitising at the entry gate into the border offices.