A Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) senior officer at Beitbridge border post has gained notoriety for corruption; brazenly confiscating goods and demanding bribes to release them, TellZim News can reveal.
Going by the nickname 'Pincode', the senior staffer has grown infamous with travellers and cross-border bus drivers, most of whom have described him as ruthless and untouchable.
With distressed travellers using the border post often enduring painstaking delays of up to nine hours in situations blamed on Zimra corruption and incompetence, things are worse if Pincode is on duty.
"He is very bossy and arrogant; everybody now knows him. If you find him in a bad mood you would know for sure that your experience at the border will be a real nasty one," said a Pioneer bus driver who admitted parting ways with a lot of money on several occasions to get Pincode clear his bus.
"We have dealt with him for a long time and we are now used to him. You need to have his bribe ready if you want him to let you go early," said the driver.
Earlier this month, this reporter witnessed Pincode hard at work, ordering buses to stop and offload their luggage for be searched for the second time just moments after they had been searched and cleared by other Zimra agents.
Another bus driver with First Class Coaches said Pincode had lately become bolder in his misdemeanours after he was shifted from the main customs area where vehicles are searched to the exit gate where bribes are reportedly harder to get.
"He is outraged by his transfer to the less lucrative exit gate and is now more daring in his corrupt endeavours. You can't understand the logic of being searched a few metres from another searching point. If Zimra doesn't trust its own systems, how are we supposed to trust it?" said the driver who looked exhausted at being made to offload the bus for the second time just moments after being cleared at the customs area.
An Intercity bus had also been made to stop for hours after at the gate after some 'irregularities' had been found in the declaration form of one passenger after a re-search.
Last week, two immigration officers Precious Ndomupei Dumbu and Tinashe Gotosa were arrested after they were reportedly caught on camera taking bribes.
Government recently installed secret cameras to curb illegal activities at the border post but their effectiveness is minimal as those in charge are also alleged to be involved.news