Zimbabwe is losing at least $1 billion annually to corruption, with Government departments in various ministries mainly the police among others being the worst offenders, a recent Transparency International Zimbabwe report revealed.
Rings of corrupt businessmen and political heavyweights are causing havoc in the Zimbabwean economy amid information Government departments have been struggling to fight these cartels.
So endemic and deep rooted is the corruption that the cartels have become powerful, in some cases to an extent even law enforcement agencies and Cabinet Ministers think twice before acting.
Although there are calls for the reduction of road blocks in towns and cities and highway, police have remained adamant and have gone to the extent of using spikes to deflate vehicles, mainly kombis. The traffic cops are now behaving like hungry wolfs and you will nearly burst in anger when you see them harassing women drivers and some old people, mainly white geriatrics.
Minerals and Border Control cops have done serious damage to this economy. They loot minerals from gold panners and never surrender to Government. There are gory cases of panners who end up swallowing gold laced with mercury as they evade police arrest.
Zimra officials have become so daring and can deliberately frustrate importers without agents to represent them until they agree to pay them for the smooth movement of their papers.
Desperate Zimbabweans who struggle to raise foreign currency to import some cars such as used luxury vehicles are frustrated and made to pay ridiculous import duty so that they fail to pay the money and then they pounce on the vehicles and get them for a song
There are gangs of corrupt individuals that have become too powerful to fight. These work with general staff and executives at Zimra to carryout various malpractices for cash.
This comes after the Business Weekly reported earlier that a syndicate of car importers is prejudicing the country of millions in potential tax revenues through the smuggling of vehicles using various intricate methods, which include registering as returning residents and issuance of Temporary Import Permits.
Elaborate schemes to smuggle vehicles have been top on the list of tax crimes. We have heard of big names, including some top chefs in the uniformed forces using their influence and offices to scare away anyone.