Govt maps routes to fight transit fraud | The Herald

Herald Reporter TRUCKS passing through Zimbabwe are now expected to follow stipulated routes and use designated truck stops as Government intensifies efforts to eliminate transit fraud. On Friday, Government gazetted Statutory Instrument 127 of 2017, which — through the Customs and Excise (Ports of Entry and Routes (Amendment) Order, 2017 (No 16) — designates 23 routes along the country’s highways, including nine routes across cities and towns. The regulations clearly spell out routes that must be followed by trucks travelling, for example, from Beitbridge to Chirundu through either Harare or Ngomahuru.

Under the new dispensation, trucks using aforementioned routes can only stop at Bubi Garage; Lundi Truck Stop; Mandamabwe; Gweru/Clocila; Kadoma; Chinhoyi (opposite Chinhoyi High School); and Karoi. Routes such as Beitbridge-Forbes; Beitbridge-Mount Selinda; Beitbridge-Nyamapanda; Beitbridge-Victoria Falls; Chirundu-Forbes; Forbes-Beitbridge; Forbes-Chirundu have been ring-fenced as well.

Most importantly, trucks travelling from Chirundu to Beitbridge through Harare can now only use Lomagundi Road; Harare Drive; Kirkman Road; Tynwald Road; Bulawayo Road; High-Glen Road and Simon Mazorodze Road. They are prohibited from passing through the city centre. Those travelling from Forbes to Chirundu via Seke have to use Mutare Road; Seke Road; Chitungwiza Road; Highglen Road; Bulawayo Road; Tynwald Road; Kirkman Road; Harare Drive and Lomagundi Road.

Government is fighting transit fraud where trucks are used as mules to dump contraband in the country, which prejudices formal businesses. The provision, however, only applies to vehicles that are fitted with electronic cargo tracking, a device that allows authorities to remotely monitor a vehicle’s movement within Zimbabwe. Statistics from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) show that the country is losing more than $1 billion every year through fuel smuggling.

In January Zimra became the fifth revenue administration in Africa to have an operational electronic cargo tracking and monitoring system. The system, which tracks and monitors transit cargo from the point of entry into Zimbabwe to the point of exit using electronic seals, was commissioned by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Patrick Chinamasa, on May 15, 2017.

It covers containerised cargo, break bulk cargo and fuel tankers. Presently, Zimra is using 19 geo-fenced transit routes. Tax authorities estimate that only 40 percent of the trucks that claim to be transiting through Zimbabwe actually do so. In May this year, Zimra board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said transit fraud had been happening for a very long time.

“In our discussions with Zinara (Zimbabwe National Road Authority) as Zimra board, and for traffic through designated entry ports, it has been estimated that only 40 percent of all trucks claiming to transit through Zimbabwe actually do so,” she said.

Meanwhile, Government on Friday also waived duty on fuel imported through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development facility and administered by CMED for use at Dema Emergency Power Projects, Kariba South Extension Project and African Chrome Fields. The suspension, effective from January 1 this year, runs until December 31, 2017. Fuel imported under this dispensation is limited to 300 million litres, 500 000 litres and 13,4 million litres for Dema, Kariba South and African Chrome Fields, respectively.

On the one hand Zimra condemns transit fraud resulting in the country losing $1 billion every year in fuel smuggling, and then efforts are ruined by what many will consider as legalised fraud when the Ministry of Transport authorises duty free imports for millions of litres ostensibly for Dema, Kariba South and African Chrome fields. All projects with high profile Zanu-PF figures participating commercially and personally benefiting from this dispensation, while depriving the fiscus from much needed currency that could serve the Nation rather than expanding the wallets of certain select individuals? Parliament must demand serious controls, confirmation and justification on where all this duty free fuel will end up, since suspicions abound over legalised fuel smuggling and if the Ministry of Transport has really respected legal obligations with this dispensation on some private commercial ventures?

This is important and we need to deal with it for the sake of our country, All trucks in transit must have GPS devices. Any deviations should attract punitive charges….

Ladies of the night please read carefully! You need to relocate to where your customers are legally allowed to park and sleep for the night.

©2013 The Herald