Zimbabwe: ZIMRA Raids Zimsec Offices

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) last week swooped on the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) headquarters in Mt Pleasant and allegedly confiscated the salary schedule and copied some undisclosed information from the directors' laptops and desktops.

The development coincided with the dissolution of the Zimsec board.

"The Zimra team came to our offices on Monday and appeared to be copying information from the directorate's laptops and desk tops.

They also took away the salary schedule and some documents which included a contract of employment for one of the senior management [name supplied)]", said a senior Zimsec official who preferred not to be identified.

The official said directors could be seen running around frantically and clearly in distress.

"Whatever it was must have caused them grief because they were very unsettled and looked worried," the source said.

Zimra's Director Legal and Corporate Services Florence Jambwa declined to shed light on the raid saying they were bound by the Revenue Act which prohibited officials from divulging such information to a third party.

"I am, therefore, unable to comment or provide the requested information because it is protected by the secrecy provisions of the Revenue Authority Act," she said.

For months, speculation has been rife that all was not well at the examination council after the board allegedly approved a salary hike for the directorate, but nothing for junior employees.

The salary schedule for the directors is outsourced, a move which continues to rile ordinary employees.

Zimsec recently admitted that they outsourced their salary schedule, arguing that it was for confidentiality reasons.

The National Education Union of Zimbabwe (NEUZ) has since written to Zimsec to express the displeasure of employees who last had a salary increment in 2010.

A day after the "raid" by Zimra, the Minister of Primary and Education Lazarus Dokora also paid a visit to the council to announce the dissolution of the Zimsec board.

Dokora however denied that the move had anything to do with the Zimra visit or salary allegations saying the tenure of the board had come to an end.

"I went there to thank them for doing a sterling job under difficult circumstances, using scarce resources. There was nothing sinister about that," he said.

The minister said he would announce the new board in due course.

Former Zimsec vice-chairperson, Hilda Shindi also confirmed their term of office had expired.

"Our tenure ended in August last year but was extended by six months which expired on February 28 this year," she said.

Acting Zimsec public relations manager, Tryfine Dzvukutu said the minister's visit was not peculiar.

"Visits to organisations such as ourselves, are not unique and are done in accordance with his mandate," she said.

On the matter of salaries Dzvukutu said it was confidential.

"Should you require details on the same [salaries] kindly approach the Office of the President and Cabinet," she said.

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