Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter—
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority vehicle importation scandal has claimed its first scalps with two officials appearing in court for undervaluing cars at Beitbridge Border Post, prejudicing the State of close to $200 000. The two Zimra officials undervalued vehicles that included brand new Toyota Land Cruiser V8s and Toyota Prados. The vehicles at the centre of the storm were imported by top Zimra executives who were last week sent on forced leave to pave way for investigations.
According to State papers, the vehicles in question were imported by Charlton Chihuri (loss control director), Sithokozile Mrewa (human resources), Clive Charles Majengwa (internal audit director) and Anna Mutombodzi (Commissioner of Customs and Excise).
Margaret Nyahoda (49), who is a revenue supervisor, and Moses Jemedze (36), a revenue officer, yesterday appeared before Mr Tendai Mahwe charged with criminal abuse of duty as public officers.
They appeared on separate records with Nyahoda facing two counts while Jemedze has three counts and they are both alleged to have prejudiced the State of $197 744 with the offences having been committed between June last year and January this year.
Nyahoda is being represented by Mr Tafadzwa Hungwe while Jemedze is being represented by Mr Wilson Manase. They were released on $500 bail each with the State’s consent. As part of their bail conditions, the pair was ordered to surrender their passports, to report once a week to the police and not to interfere with witnesses and investigations.
He examined the vehicle and misrepresented that it was a second-hand and deliberately accepted the fraudulently declared value of R190 000 yet the correct value of the vehicle was R699 900.
He pegged the duty at $8 993 instead of $33 150 and to cover up for the offence, Jemedze allegedly destroyed the valuation sheet and the importation documents. It is the State’s case that Mutombodzi’s vehicle, a brand new Toyota Land- cruiser V8, was also entered in the system as a second-hand.
Jemedze processed the fraudulent documents which valued the vehicle at $16 500 and pegged duty at $10 053. However, the actual value of the vehicle is R1 000 000 and Mutombodzi was supposed to pay $44 525 as duty.
Jemedze, the court heard, used the same method and undervalued Chihuri’s Toyota Landcruiser V8, a 2016 model. The said vehicles were later seized after the offences were unearthed.
Nyahoda is also said to have received another bill of entry for Chihuri and instead of assigning her subordinate to examine and assess the vehicle, she reportedly forged information on the valuation sheet.
She valued the vehicle at R320 000 yet the actual price according to South Africa Revenue Services is $1 013 000. Due to Nyahoda’s misrepresentation, Chihuri, the State alleged, paid $14 928 as duty when he was supposed to pay $47 868. The same was done on Majengwa’s vehicle.