A CONVEYANCE clerk with a Harare law firm, Machekeche and Partners Attorneys, has been brought to court for allegedly defrauding the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) of $3 500.
REPORT BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
Abinel Muchairi (39) attended to conveyance clients as part of his duties and would receive property transfer documents brought in by clients and prepare files for lodging with the Registrar of Deeds.
He also conducted deeds searches and collected both registered deeds from the Deeds Office and Zimra assessments and certificates in cases where a law firm was the one making capital gains tax payments to the revenue authority.
Sometime in 2010, it is alleged, the law firm was tasked by its client to make the transfer of immovable property from Lovemore and Michaela Kudita to Ephraim Chawoneka. The property had to be transferred, including acquisition of capital gains tax certificates from Zimra.
Further allegations are that Muchairi planned to defraud Zimra through the manipulation of issuance of the capital gains tax certificate. To achieve his end, he originated a fake certificate to facilitate the transfer of a stand, which had been sold by Lovemore and Michaela Kudita for $70 000 to Chawoneka.
Muchairi filed a fictitious capital gains tax certificate at the Deeds Office purporting that capital gains tax had been paid to Zimra on July 7, 2010.
Between April 2011 and May 2012, the State further alleged that Zimra carried out an audit on the transaction and it was discovered that it was fraudulent.
A report was then made to the police and Zimra subsequently approached Muchairi’s employer for payment of the capital gains tax and they paid $3 500 as well as an additional $3 500 penalty. Muchairi’s alleged conduct caused a prejudice of $3 500 to Zimra which was eventually recovered.