The Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) last Wednesday reportedly attached 13 vehicles and other household property worth over 4 million pula belonging to a Zimbabwean businessman, Patrick Dowera, following his conviction for evading paying the country’s taxes.
The Botswana Guardian newspaper reported this week that BURS officials pounced on Dowera’s house in Gaborone on Wednesday last week and attached all his household property which was auctioned this Monday.
The revenue officials also impounded Dowera’s 13 vehicles which also went under the hammer to settle the debt.
Dowera owned a panelbeating company, Landscape Decorators, which was closed in June this year after the authorities discovered the owner was operating illegally without relevant tax certificates.
The Zimbabwean is reported to have been evading the taxman for many years and when he was eventually apprehended, he had accumulated a debt of close to P4,5 million.
BURS general manager for tax compliance, Kaone Molapo, told the media Dowera was evading tax even though he had won large government tenders.
“At the time when he was dodging tax, he won tenders worth over P14,6 million,” said Molapo.
Molapo said Dowera cheated his way into getting tax certificates for his company by claiming his firms had not been winning tenders.
“He was submitting tax returns as if his company is not doing well yet he has been winning tenders from government,” said Molapo.
“We want to send out a clear message to businesses who want to cheat authorities that they risk losing their properties the same way.”