from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – ZIMBABWE plans to invest US$2 million in the procurement of drones to reduce smuggling and underhand deals at points of entry.
The system is expected to be procured and installed from funding in the 2021 budget.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is facilitating the move.
Plans are also at an advanced stage to place a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera system at border posts and strategic areas.
The CCTV system will be linked to a loss control command centre at ZIMRA head office in the capital, Harare.
It will have sight of the footage live feed from the border post.
Francis Chimanda, the ZIMRA spokesperson, confirmed the plans.
These are part of initiatives by the agency to curb transit fraud.
Currently, ZIMRA enforces controls to avoid importation of restricted or prohibited goods through the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS).
In 2020, the company reported it had sealed 35 076 trucks, which gave the authority US$1,08 billion in sealing fees.
The total revenue from fines stood at $216 900.
The system uses Global Positioning System (GPS)/ General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology for tracking.
The ECTS that ZIMRA uses is from Malaysia.
Prof. Mthuli Ncube, the Minister of Finance, is interested in ZIMRA investigating the possibility of a locally-produced system.
“The aim is to expand the transit economy with Zimbabwe acting as a transit hub in the region, together with ensuring Zimbabwe adopts and implements the concept of dry ports,” Chimanda said.
– CAJ News