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ZIMRA holds on to learning material donated to Plumtree school

A British couple has been left frustrated after the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) reportedly held on to a consignment of learning material they had donated to a rural school in Plumtree.

The consignment which consists of pens, notepads, notebooks and other learning aids was meant to be donated to Mabhulu Primary School in March.

However, the revenue collector reportedly seized the donation.

Morlyn Alice Vundla Giffard, who donated the material together with her husband Peter Giffard and Cambridge Assessment expressed disappointment with the delay.  

Giffard said they felt let down by the authorities and have been forced to put on hold more donations they wanted to make. 

“We are deeply concerned about the turnout of these events. We have more stuff that we want to send through but as long as the first cargo has not yet been delivered we can not send in more. We are just hoping that all the necessary procedure will be completed so that the material reached its intended beneficiaries,” she said. 

The Headmistress, Mutshideni Nleya, told CITE they have on several occasions tried to reach out to ZIMRA but to no avail. 

Nleya explained that when the cargo arrived in March, the school was advised that they were supposed to have obtained a Business Partnership Number and a clearance certificate beforehand. 

She said the procedure took a while until the national lockdown came into force.  

“We started the procedure to attain all the required documentation. They gave us the BPN and reference number, but when we went back they said the reference number should be activated in the ZIMRA system. Unfortunately on the day we went back to have it activated was the day when the lockdown came into force so they did not attend to us,” she explained. 

“We went back again several other times to Mhlahlandlela offices but we would not get any service, they kept telling us that they are on lockdown so there’s no one to attend to us from the offices. We tried to call numbers that were provided for customer service but they went unanswered. So right now we are stuck because we do not know how to proceed.”

ZIMRA spokesperson Francis Chimhanda declined to shed more light on the matter, saying it is against the organisation’s policy to speak on issues about the organisation and its clients.

Chimhanda, however, referred the aggrieved school to relevant customs offices for assistance. 

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