A LOCAL manufacturing firm, Qingsham Investments (Pvt) Ltd, whose property was, in December last year, seized by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) over unpaid $2 219 413 in duty, has approached the High Court on an urgent basis demanding the immediate release of the goods.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Qingsham, which trades as Rhino Blankets, filed the application yesterday through its lawyers, Venturas and Samukange, arguing the move by the government to seize its property was unfortunate.
The firm’s managing director, Davison Farao, said duty for the goods seized by Zimra had been settled after all the necessary inspections at the Beitbridge and Forbes border posts in terms of Statutory Instrument 6301 of 2000.
“All goods were properly cleared and duty was paid. Consequently, these goods are not subject to seizure,” he said in his founding affidavit.
Farao said the goods were placed under embargo on December 29, 2016 and efforts to engage the government over the release of the property had failed to yield any meaningful results raising fears that more than 50 employees would lose their jobs if the property was not released.
“The applicant (Qingsham) argues that, in future, it will have to consider whether to continue with the business or close the factory, as the price of the finished products would be very expensive and customers would prefer to import the finished products themselves,” he said.
“If the material is sold as unfinished products, it will fetch very little on the public market and will not be able to pay what the respondent is asking from the applicant.
“The applicant will suffer irreparable prejudice in that it is being forced to pay twice for the goods already cleared properly. The applicant did not smuggle the goods and the goods are not subject to seizure in terms of the Customs and Excise Act.”
Farao further said he was pleading with the court to ensure the release of the goods pending determination of his firm’s appeal by Zimra.
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.