Zimra officers demand bribe from businessman

TWO Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officers appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday facing criminal abuse of office charges after they allegedly demanded a bribe from a businessman who had prejudiced government of over $6 million in unpaid taxes.

PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
SENIOR REPORTER

Zimra chief Investigating officer Gumede Tafara (41) and investigation officer Obrie Tozivepi (41) were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare magistrate Milton Serima.

They were remanded to December 10 on $200 bail apiece and ordered to surrender their passports. The court also ordered them to report once a week at the Criminal Investigations Department (Serious Frauds) until finalisation of the matter.

The pair’s lawyer, Admire Rubaya told the court that his clients were illegally detained beyond the statutory 48 hours following their arrest.

He said he wrote to Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and the Prosecutor-General Johannes Tobaiwa’s Office so that they could be released, but in vain.

“Despite our spirited efforts they remained in custody,” Rubaya said.

“We reserve the right to sue the police officers that were instrumental (in the illegal detention) and now the State is seeking to perpetuate this illegality.”

Prosecutor Sebastian Mutizirwa conceded that the pair was illegally detained and assured the court that the matter would be investigated.

He alleged that Tafara and Tozivepi committed the offence between March and November 2014 at Zimra offices at Kurima House in Harare.

He told the court that in March 2014 , the suspects raided the offices of businessman Owen Murumbi and accused him of tax evasion.

They allegedly confiscated company files and computers purporting that they wanted to conduct an audit. Murumbi owns Megalink (Pvt) Ltd, Front Comm (Pvt) Ltd and Premier Tobacco.

They allegedly raised a tax bill of $1 500 000 which they presented to Murumbi as outstanding taxes before engaging one Takanayi Mureyi to negotiate with Murumbi on their behalf to reduce the tax bill.

It is alleged that Mureyi was given $40 000 and a Range Rover which he handed over to the suspects as a bribe.

When the suspects learnt that their superiors were now aware of the case, they allegedly forwarded some documents to the audit section where a fresh audit was carried out. It was discovered that Murumbi had prejudiced the government of $6 764 868.77.

18 Comments

  1. GOOD ADVICE: do something for yourself, for your family. Don’t waste your time talking about these already rich politicianswhile you are poor. Other people are enjoying their lives with money without even paying attention to these dirty politicians. See how this poor Zimbabwean woman became a millionaire just by buying and selling old and broken houses. Very interesting. Go to HOUSESBYCITY.COM to see all 5 companies that she was dealing with to do this business. HOUSESBYCITY.COM , Wake up African people

  2. @Alberts, good advice. Get da fck off dis forum.

  3. Mr Alberts..Point taken. Please move on to the printed copy now. we need to comment on news items in peace.

  4. Corruption in this country is rooted in these institutions and will stay that way if the rot in top positions and current economic freefall continues. Why would civil servants stay in govt employ with such dreary salaries if not to exhtort money from the public. Cry my beloved Zimboland.

  5. ngojo is now a prosecutor

  6. Thats what happens when you have a Chief for a President.Its a free for all no law,those claiming to investigate are waiting for their bribes before they close the case.The solution is to get rid of the Chief,otherwise no end in site with this behaviour.

  7. Its a pity – Megalink, Premier Tobacco will soon be HISTORY because (c)ivil servants must be paid / paying themselves

  8. Why were the other players not arrested, the businessman and the go-between? It takes two to tango. I am looking forward to seeing the Range Rover as exhibit at the courts. We hope the go-between did not play the biblical Gerhaz who was a servant to the Prophet Elisha.

  9. It is public knowledge that most Zimbabweans are intellectually challenged, lazy, incompetent, short-circuiters, thieves and genetically corrupt,
    These “attributes” are essential prerequisites to scramble up the ladder of “success” in Zanu PF.
    Anyone who does not share his loot with his handler and other chefs is likely to be framed, arrested and charged for his “unpatriotic” conduct.
    The latest joke in international circles is the claim by Patrick Chinamasa that corruption is caused by targeted sanctions applied against Zanu pf kleptomaniacs,

  10. Corruption is bred at Zimra , but to my surprise the media is not doing much to cover corruption issues at ZIMRA . I know and believe our own Gvt is being predudiced of large sums of money through these corrupt ZIMRA employees.

  11. imagine u go to zimra to have vat on your vehicle assesed and after assesment they detain your registration book.this is all meant to squize something out of poor motorists,what law will they be basing this on.many people have failed to licence their vehicles because of this.please someone help us.we need our registration books besides they should be colecting vat from people who sold the cars to us,mbavha

  12. a lot of people are failing to licence their cars becoz zimra is refusing to give the books back after vat assesment,they are crooks and want motorists to pay a bribe before they can get their vehicle registration books back,if you are a lawyer hero basa akazara mabhuku evanhu uku.

  13. Ko anonzi Johannes Tobaiwa here? Umm reporter I stand to be corrected. I think anonzi Tome PG

  14. Mbudzi inofura payakasungirirwa.

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  17. Isn’t that a cute kitty?!

  18. He’s just waiting patiently for the place to open up.

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