Source: Ex-State House director’s trial fails to kick off | The Herald October 30, 2019
Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
The trial of former principal director of State Residences in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Douglas Tapfuma, failed to kick off yesterday after prosecutor Mr Clemence Chimbare indicated they needed time to certify some documents for use during the case. Harare regional magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya deferred the matter to November 4, as per the State’s application for a postponement.
Tapfuma allegedly abused his office by facilitating the importation of several vehicles duty-free.
Allegations are that on April 17, 2018, he 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 the two vehicles on behalf of the department using report order forms as if they were Government vehicles.
It is the State case that clearance of goods by report order forms is a clearance procedure that is normally used by Government departments to apply for deferred clearance of goods from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
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 allegedly applied for duty exemption for 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.