In a concerted effort to build strong synergies with the media fraternity, The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority(ZIMRA) partnered with the United Nations Development Programme(UNPD) to host the Editors Breakfast meeting in Bulawayo on 28 May 2024. The media engagement was aimed at equipping editors with crucial knowledge of tax and customs issues in a bid to encourage accurate and informed narratives.

ZIMRA Domestic Taxes Regional Manager for Bulawayo, Mr Lisani Dube who read a speech on behalf of the Commissioner Domestic Taxes underscored the crucial role of strategic alliance with the media in enhancing compliance. “We believe tax and customs issues are of national interest and key news topics that deserve prominent coverage.” ZIMRA exceeded the set collection target for the first quarter and has consistently sustained this trend.  In this presiding quarter, we expect to continue with that trajectory. We can however do even more if you also play your role as members of the fourth estate to influence and encourage compliance.” said Mr Dube.

UNDP national coordinator Melusi Tshuma emphasised the need for media awareness on tax compliance and effective tax policies to promote domestic resource mobilisation and improve revenue collection. “Low domestic resource mobilisation severely affects the efforts to achieve SDGs, national strategies and development of any government” he said.

Speaking during the same event Director for ICT Mr Shami Moyo highlighted the importance of digitalization in reducing revenue leakages, simplifying processes, curbing corruption and promoting compliance. We are very much excited about TARMS, our clients no longer have to wait until midnight to file their returns, you can do it anytime during the day”, he said.  “We now have drones that are helping us to manage the border-line, and we are using them to manage the border during the day and at night. The electronic single window provides a single platform for importers and exporters to access services from different government agencies as opposed to engaging different agencies” he added.

The Editors in attendance were drawn from media houses such as Zimpapers, ZBC Montrose, Studio 7, Skyz Metro, Daily News, Choice Media among others. They sought clarity on issues relating to smuggling, corruption, civil servants rebate and lifestyle audits which were responded to by the ZIMRA executive members and management.  The Authority’s media engagement efforts are meant to increase awareness on the impact of Taxes and Duties on the socio, economic development of Zimbabwe.