Staff costs gobble 69% of Zimra’s govt grant

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By Alois Vinga

TAX collector, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), used 69% of the total grant extended by government on recurrent expenditure mainly salaries while just over 12% was allocated to capital expenditure in 2018.

This is revealed in a Zimra annual report released Thursday in Harare.

The report shows that some of the projects were however shelved because they needed foreign currency.

“A grant from the government to the tune of $139 million was extended to Zimra out of which $123 million was set aside for operational costs and $16 million for capital expenditure. From the funds set aside for operational costs, an amount $98 million was spent on employment costs,” the report said.

Of the total allocation of $16 million budgeted for capital expenditure, only $7 million was spent leaving an excess of $9 million.

Travel and subsistence allowances gobbled $5.64 million driven by staff reliefs deployed to busy stations, training for revenue trainees and increases in hotel accommodation costs.

Over $1 million was paid out for leave days while $2.6 million went towards overtime payments with medical expenses standing at $4.5 million.

Zimra Commissioner-general, Faith Mazani attributed the expenditure pattern to legacy labour disputes and inevitable salary increments.

“There was an arbitral award for salary review and labour cases disputes before the court. As regards money spent on overtime, there is need to appreciate that the revenue authority is sitting on a high vacancy position, a situation which forces us to deploy some of our staff members to border posts but we are working flat out to return to a normal position,” she said.

Mazani added that very little was spent on capital projects with an excess being recorded owing to the fact that most projects that were lined up required foreign currency while the budget was denominated in local currency.