Since its establishment 10 years ago, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has made tremendous strides in its operations which have seen it receiving a number of awards. In line with its Motto which reads, “We are here to serve”, Zimra has been consistently improving convenience to its business partners while ensuring that it religiously surpasses revenue targets as set by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Finance.

This year alone, the Authority has received four awards which bear testimony to its operational efficiency. On 10 March 2011, the Commissioner General of Zimra won the Institute of Directors of Zimbabwe (IODZ) director of the year award for 2010. He became the first head of a parastatal to win the award with all previous winners having come from the private sector. What even makes the award more coveted is the fact that from time immemorial, tax collection is not an activity that normally attracts positive recognition. One Edmund Burke even coined the popular phrase to the effect that, “To tax and to please, no more than to love and
to be wise, is not given to men.”

On May 13, 2011, Zimra also won the award for the best Zimbabwean Revenue Collector for Infrastructure in 2010 under the auspicious of the Infrastructure Development Forum. This is in recognition, not only of the unwavering efforts the Authority has put in collecting revenue as part of its mandate, but also for doing so diligently and passionately. This passion stems from Zimra’s Vision which reads, “To be a beacon of excellence in the provision of fiscal services and ensuring a secure supply chain” and is anchored by the three Core ValuesIntegrity, Transparency and Fairness.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has also become a beacon of infrastructural development and information technology advancements. Examples include introduction of scanners to replace physical searches, direct banking, and the rolling out of ASYCUDA World system to 13 stations so far, the latest being Chirundu and Kazungula, among others.

Zimra has also seen its leader emerging the Zimbabwe Institute of Management (ZIM) first runner-up manager of the year for 2010 under the Econet Wireless public sector category. This becomes the fifth time that ZIM has recognised Zimra for its sterling performance. The organisation was a winner of the ZIM human resources development award in 2004 in recognition of the human resource best practices in training. Zimra set up, and successfully runs, a Training Centre which has so far been accredited as a World Customs Organisation (WCO) regional training centre. The centre has been grooming Customs and Tax experts since the inception of the Revenue Authority and has also introduced soft skills courses and electronic learning facilities to broaden the scope of people in Zimra.

The Commissioner General of Zimra has also won the substantive ZIM manager of the year award twice, in 2004 and 2006, and was the first runner-up in 2009. Recently, he won the US-based Madison manager of the year award for 2010.

The Institute of Certified Tax Accountants Zimbabwe (ICTAZ) honoured Zimra for outstanding achievements since its establishment through its lifetime achiever’s award in 2007 and the myriad of awards has been complemented by various other accolades at trade fairs and provincial agricultural shows.

Zimra carries out a bi-annual client satisfaction survey at all of its stations nationwide. This is a feedback mechanism used by the Authority to measure clients’ expectations and the consequent service delivery. Key aspects are measured such as reception, waiting time at service points, service time, responsiveness to queries, information dissemination, officers’ knowledge of their job, officers’ attitude and overall service delivery. This feedback mechanism has also been extended to the website which runs an online opinion poll in order  to constantly improve various aspects of service delivery.

Suggestion boxes are also available at Zimra stations for clients to anonymously comment on any issues affecting the organisation’s operations. Such comments are taken seriously and measures are taken to consistently improve operations so that the Authority continues to live true to its creed – “We are here to serve”.