Zimra boss faces axe

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The term of Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi, who has been at the helm of the institution since its inception in 2001, has expired, and he is set to lose his influential position after Finance minister Tendai Biti refused to extend it.

Relations between Biti and Pasi became frosty after the latter refused to take orders from the minister.

Although no comment could be obtained from Biti, a senior ministry official yesterday confirmed Pasi’s imminent exit from Zimra.

The Revenue Act Chapter 23:11 states: “Without the authority of the Minister, no person shall be appointed as Commissioner-General and no person shall be qualified to hold office as Commissioner-General if he is not a citizen of Zimbabwe or ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe.”

The source said Biti was empowered by the Act to decide Pasi’s fate and was reportedly not willing to extend his term, which apparently expired in October last year.

Pasi has been working without a contract since then.

NewsDay understands Biti had initially promised to renew the Zimra boss’s term, but reportedly reneged due to what close sources attributed to as the frosty relationship between the two.

“The fight between Biti and Pasi began last year over tenders for fiscalisation machines,” the source added.

As a result, Biti has been making impromptu visits to Zimra offices countrywide without the knowledge of the Commissioner-General.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Pasi said he was still at work but the issue of his term was still under discussion.

“We cannot discuss that at the moment because it’s under discussion internally,” Pasi said.

Zimra board chairman Sternford Moyo said matters of contracts for employees were confidential and could not be discussed through the Press.

“The confidence is on both the employee and the authority as they have an interest,” Moyo said. Pasi was appointed on May 1, 2001.