The borehole drilling industry is a lucrative industry that has the capacity to transform Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector.
It is unfortunate that illegal Indians are running this industry and taking advantage of lax systems. The state is losing out on taxes and levies, NSSA is losing out, employees are losing out and there are no local winners.
Zimra, CTC, Zimdef and NSSA need to call an urgent borehole drilling industry indaba to discuss these problems. Several borehole drillers have tried various avenues to air their complaints but it seems no one is keen on taking action. Maybe the investigators and watchers are benefiting from this multi million dollar scam.
The Government of Zambia kicked out most illegal borehole drillers and they trekked to Zimbabwe. Several rigs are in the country on temporary permits.
The Indians use a system called Hawala to launder and externalise their profits.
In the most basic variant of the hawala system, money is transferred via a network of hawala brokers, or hawaladars. Hawala is the transfer of money without actually moving the money. In fact, a successful definition of the hawala system that is used is “money transfer without money movement”.
Most hawaladars are small businesses who work at hawala as a sideline or moonlighting operation. The most prominent hawaladar is based in Belvedere. This Hawala system allows the illegal Indians to move their money without the detection of RBZ or other state agents.
It is unfortunate that the borehole industry has failed to organise itself into an Apex body. There should be an association of borehole drillers who work as a unit to ensure that there is fair competition, fair play and adherence to regulations.
Local and Patriotic borehole drillers need to stand up and defend the country from the abuse by those running illegal borehole drilling operations.
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