Shamiso Dzingire 9 November 2018
HARARE – Former Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner- general
Gershem Pasi was yesterday arraigned before the court on charges of
criminal abuse of office.
Pasi is accused of inflating prices for the acquisition of Information
Management Systems (IMS) from $11 819 000 to $32 649 939.97 through
engaging third party services against the State Procurement Board’s
recommendation of direct engagement.
As a result, the State alleges that Pasi caused the transfer of $23 763
780.65 to beneficiaries who are yet to be determined.
Yesterday, Pasi appeared before chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe who
remanded him out of custody to November 22 on condition that he deposits
$2 000 bail.
Guvamombe ordered Pasi to surrender his passport, report twice a week at
Borrowdale Police Station, continue residing at the given address and not
to interfere with State witnesses.
Guvamombe also ordered him to provide surety in the form of title deeds
amounting to $150 000.
Initially, the State led by Veneranda Munyoro had proposed that Pasi
deposits $5 000 bail and provide surety in the sum of $200 000.
Through his lawyers Farai Mushoriwa and Innocent Chingaranda, Pasi argued
that he is unemployed and that his daughter who was not identified in
court will deposit the bail.
Pasi said the two houses that he owns are mortgaged by a local bank and is
therefore unable to provide title deeds.
However, Munyoro told the court that the amount suggested by the State was
not excessive considering Pasi’s status.
“The accused person owns businesses and should be able to provide surety.
The defence has just made assertions and not produced any proof that the
two houses are mortgaged,” Munyoro argued.
Allegations against Pasi are that in January 2014, the chief secretary to
the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, led a high-powered ministerial
delegation of senior officials to China to affirm Inspur’s capabilities in
the information technologies domain in implementing prioritised
e-government projects. Pasi was part of the delegation as they wanted to
implement e-taxation at Zimra.
During the visit, various government departments had an opportunity to
interact with Inspur personnel who demonstrated these capabilities.
The court heard that an action plan for the implementation of the agreed
programme was signed and Pasi began his engagement with Inspur Zimbabwe
for IMS design and development.
Pasi allegedly went on to form a committee at Zimra for designing the
system and also drawing specifications of the project to be supplied.
ICT department headed by Tyiyapo Velempini was involved in the designing
of the system together with engineers from Inspur Global.
It is alleged that Inspur Global had a local office registered in Zimbabwe
with resident personnel who were responsible for the implementation of the
In June 2014, Zimra and Inspur agreed on specifications and Pasi did not
seek a quotation direct from Inspur Zimbabwe, the court heard.
Instead, Pasi allegedly took the system design to Righlus Services, a
company distributing Inspur products though he was ordered to directly
engage the company.
It is alleged that Righlus Services ownership immediately changed during
the engagement where Tendai Maxwell Nyamarapo who was a driver in the
Zimra ICT department resigned and immediately assumed a directorship
position at Righlus services and owning one percent of the issued shares.
On July 1, 2014, Righlus Services supplied a $32 649 939.97 IMS which it
purported to be from Inspur Group of China.
Using the quotation Pasi allegedly wrote to the Office of the President
and Cabinet seeking authority to engage the State Procurement Board (SPB)
for a direct purchase from Inspur for the supply, delivery and
installation of the IMS.
Acting on Pasi’s request, the court heard that the SPB acceded to the
direct engagement of Inspur Group of China for the supply, delivery and
installation of hardware, equipment and software for the Tax Management
Pasi reportedly went on to sign a $32 649 939.97 contract with Righlus
Services which reflected that the company was to supply, deliver, install
and commission the e-taxation system at Zimra.
However, the contract was not a direct engagement with Inspur as duly
Through its parent company, Righlus allegedly signed a $11 819 000
contract with Inspur Global for the supply, delivery and installation of
the IMS which was actually designed by Inspur Zimbabwe and Zimra ICT
The court heard that Inspur directly supplied the IMS system to Zimra,
with Righlus Services acting as an intermediary yet the work was done by
personnel within the country.
Through engaging third-party services the cost of IMS system was allegedly
inflated from $11 819 000 to $32 649 939.97.