Zimbabwe Misses 2016 Revenue Target

Zimbabwe’s tax agency ZIMRA on Thursday said it missed the 2016 revenue target by 4 percent as weak global commodity prices hit mineral royalties in the Southern African nation.

“The failure to surpass revenue targets in 2016 is largely due to the prevailing harsh economic conditions,” ZIMRA chairperson Willia Bonyongwe said in a statement.

The agency collected $3.46 billion in taxes between January and December 2016 compared to a target of $3.61 billion.

In her words, mining companies paid $63 million in mineral royalties, far below the ZIMRA target of $110 million.

Zimbabwe’s economic difficulties have deepened after it defaulted on its commitment to repay its three preferred creditors — the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) last year.

The country has an internal and external debt of $10.8 billion. The public debt amounts to $5.6 billion, split between multilateral financial institutions ($2.2 billion), the Paris Club ($2.7 billion) and US$700 million to the non-Paris Club.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced bond notes later last year, raising fears of a return to a domestic currency abandoned in 2009 as hyperinflation soared out of control, leaving Zimbabweans using the U.S. dollar.

Transparency International said last October Zimbabwe was also losing at least $1 billion annually to corruption.