SUSPENDED Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner-general, Gershem Pasi, who was facing 45 charges of misconduct, has resigned.
By Wongai Zhangazha
As first reported by our sister paper, the Zimbabwe Independent last year, an audit into the goings-on at Zimra exposed massive corruption, fraud, poor corporate governance and tax evasion scandals within the tax authority, with shocking revelations that the revenue collector was prejudiced of more than $20 million.
According to sources, Pasi resigned halfway through a disciplinary hearing on Monday.
The hearing, which kicked off in November last year, was chaired by former High Court judge, Justice Moses Chinhengo.
Pasi pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
“My employer has without just or lawful cause preferred unfounded charges against me. The charges ring hollow being based as they are upon an incompetent audit report prepared by auditors, who abdicated their most basic functions and responsibilities,” reads Pasi’s resignation letter dated May 22.
“I terminate the relationship the very same way that it was consummated, with peace, tranquility and restraint. I clothe myself in my dignity, as I put off my title and call time on the long and gratifying association that I have had with the authority. I have decided to walk. I do so with effect from today. I do so with effect from today, May 22, 2017.”
Pasi was expected to answer to several charges of misconduct, which include the signing of a $14 million contract with a company called AVIC International for the supply of uniforms and tollgate equipment, allegedly without following tender procedures.
He was also accused of allocating himself excessive vehicle allowances amounting to $374 451 between 2014 and May 2016 without approval from the board, among other charges.
In a statement yesterday, the Zimra board confirmed receiving Pasi’s resignation.
“As all stakeholders are aware, the Commissioner General has been on suspension and undergoing disciplinary hearings,” the statement read.
“He has, however, opted to resign with immediate effect prior to the conclusion of the hearings. The board has accepted his resignation.
“The Zimra board, together with senior management and staff, would like to acknowledge the service that Commissioner General Pasi rendered to the organisation and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
The Zimra board-sanctioned probe came after a whistle-blower’s report on irregularities in the importation of executive cars, which saw Pasi and several executives sent on forced leave.
The audit began on July 3 last year.