The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) says it intends to procure long-range drones to monitor the country’s porous borders to curb smuggling and corruption.
Clothing items, footwear, fuel, restricted or controlled goods, electrical items, alcoholic beverages, motor vehicles, wildlife, minerals, and tobacco products are some of the goods that are smuggled across the country’s borders, depriving the Government millions of dollars in revenue.
Speaking during a plenary session at a breakfast meeting organised by ZIMRA at a Mutare hotel on Thursday under the theme I’MFORZERO: Say NO To Corruption: Say YES to Integrity, ZIMRA Acting Commissioner for Customs and Excise, Adrian Swarres said:
As we intensify efforts to curb smuggling and corruption, we are looking at procuring drones that are able to fly at night.
There are two types of drones that we will acquire, the long-range drones which have a capacity to travel in one direction up to 200km and are able to come back and land safely and those operated at ports of entry.
The long-range drones can operate during the day and at night. They will be monitored from control rooms, both at the border and in Harare.
We are also looking at procuring drones that will be used at border posts to assist in curbing smuggling at these ports of entry.
They will also assist management in monitoring movements and operations at the borders. These drones will also shoot videos.
Manicaland has a long border with Mozambique which stretches from Nyanga to Chipinge and smugglers take advantage of the porousness of the border to move contraband in and out of the country.