11 July 2018

Zimbabwe: 'Intensify Fight Against Corruption At Ports of Entry'

The Government should intensify efforts to rid corruption at boarder posts to curb smuggling of goods into the country which is negatively affecting production in industries, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has said .

Smuggling of second hand clothes over the years has severely affected the textile industry, threatening to push many of the players out of business.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Chris Mugaga, said smuggling continued to affect the capacity of local companies to contribute to the economy.

"The Government needs to plug holes at ports of entry to control importation of second hand clothes. Smuggling reduces ability of local companies to produce to full capacity due to reduced demand for their products.

"Authorities need to control decisively with corruption at boarder posts to ensure that there is no smuggling of goods into the country," he said.

The high costs of production due to shortage of foreign currencies have seen manufacturing companies passing on the costs to consumers, who have responded by opting for second hand clothes which are much cheaper, thereby fuelling smuggling.

Studies have shown that Zimbabwe is importing clothing and textiles worth more than $500 million every year, 90 of which should be paying duty at 40 percent, but only less than $200 million in duty revenue is earned due to under invoicing, abuse of trade agreements, corruption and discarding of second hand clothing.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers President Denford Mutashu said the Government should treat the issue of smuggling as one of the biggest threats to national security and economic growth.

"The issue of smuggling relates closely to corruption and in China, corruption is treated seriously. Not just mere tough talk but rigorous action. The law must be enforced to deal decisively with the issue of porous borders.

"President (Mnangagwa) should come up with a task force that includes the private sector, all state security arms and launch a 'No to Smuggling Campaign' aimed at ridding boarder posts of the vice," he said. -- New Ziana.

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