The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has dismissed claims that it now requires proof of Covid-19 testing from its stakeholders and that all clearing agents are supposed to go under mandatory testing for them to access services.
In a statement, Zimra said it does not require a certificate or proof of recent negative Covid-19 tests from its stakeholders visiting any of its offices or premises. Zimra said it only encourages its stakeholders to remain vigilant and minimise the possible transmission of Covid-19.
The revenue authority also advised stakeholders to utilise online services to minimise face-to-face interaction between officials and customers. Zimra also distanced itself from a statement circulating on social media purporting to have been generated by the revenue authority instructing all stakeholders including clearing agents to undergo mandatory testing and produce proof of testing before they could access its services.
“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority wishes to correct misleading information that was contained in an internally generated notice that was issued to clearing agents on the 6th of August, 2020. The statement under the heading Notice to all clearing agents, transporters-meausures to contain the rise in cases of Covid-19 infections at border posts, gives the incorrect impression that all persons, clients and stakeholders visiting Zimra premises are required to produce proof of having been recently tested for Covid-19. This is not the correct position, Zimra does not require a certificate or proof of recent negative Covid-19 tests from its stakeholders visiting any of its offices or premises,” reads part of the statement.
Zimra said it was following World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and the Ministry of Health in safeguarding its employees and prevent them from contracting Covid-19.
“The correct position is that Zimra is aware that due to the positioning of our offices, inland and border stations, there is a need to remain vigilant in observing and practising procedures that reduce the high risk of exposure to Covid-19. In the interest of safeguarding employees, clients and the public as directed by the guidelines from the World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimra is implementing measures to mitigate the likely impact and risks of this viral threat to operations and human life.
“The current measures at our border posts and stations in instances of expected or suspected exposure to Covid-19 include but are not limited to, testing contacts of all suspected Covid-19 cases. Immediate closure and subsequent disinfection of offices, inland and border stations that might be at risk. Re-opening of disinfected offices is done with the assistance and guidance of the relevant local medical authorities. Where practical Zimra stations and offices maintain critical skeleton staff. Staff are being provided with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitisers and services are, as much as possible, being offered to clients/agents via electronic means,” reads the statement.