Source: Alternative fraud charge for Tapfuma | The Herald November 5, 2019
Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
The State wants to bring an alternative charge of fraud in the case of former principal director of State Residences in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Douglas Tapfuma. Prosecutor Mr Clemence Chimbare told the court of the State’s intentions yesterday.
Tapfuma is facing abuse of office charges after allegedly facilitating the importation of several vehicles duty-free.
Mr Chimbare asked for a postponement of the matter on the grounds that he wanted to add fraud as an alternative charge.
Harare regional magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya deferred the matter to November 14 for trial.
Allegations are that on April 17, 2018, Tapfuma allegedly assigned Bonani Ganyane, an officer working in the transport section of the Department of State Residences, to proceed to Beitbridge and facilitate clearance of two vehicles on behalf of the department using report order forms as if they were Government vehicles.
Ganyane allegedly proceeded to Beitbridge and provisionally cleared the vehicles using the report order forms.
After allegedly clearing the vehicles, Ganyane advised Tapfuma, who instructed him to hand them to Vongaishe Mupereri, who at that time was National Assembly Member for Mbizo constituency.
The court heard that on April 20, 2018, Tapfuma made an application to the Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet requesting for duty-free certificates in the name of the President’s Department, which were issued.
Tapfuma then allegedly applied for duty exemption for the vehicles at Zimra, which was granted.
He then registered the vehicles at Central Vehicles Registry under the name of the President’s Department and started using the vehicles in his personal capacity.
The alleged vehicles were liable to pay duty amounting to US$3 180.
The court heard that on the second and third counts, Tapfuma allegedly purchased five personal vehicles between June and August last year, from South Africa. Tapfuma is being represented by Mr Jonathan Samukange.