Zimra shuts down Chinese firm

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has shut down a Chinese blanket manufacturing firm, Veleez, for circumventing their duty and tax obligations.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

A Zimra offical approaching Mr Wang at his company’s premises in Southerton, Harare, yesterday. Inset: A Zimra vehicle parked at Veleez premises.
A Zimra offical approaching Mr Wang at his company’s premises in Southerton, Harare, yesterday. Inset: A Zimra vehicle parked at Veleez premises.

Chinese firms are reportedly dodging Zimra in paying duty by putting the wrong tariff codes, undervaluing goods, and understating the quantity of goods. Other tactics include not applying for import licences to bring in goods through the country’s borders.

Zimra officials visited Veleez which operates in the Southerton industrial area where they engaged a Mr Wang whom the workers from other businesses operating on the premises said was in charge of the company.

Wang then pretended not to speak English, although employees from other businesses operating at the premises had earlier told NewsDay he spoke and understood the language.

However, Wang’s actions baffled Zimra officials as he seemed to be busy on his phone the entire time before briefly talking to the tax collectors.

NewsDay witnessed the Zimra officials showing Wang a document believed to be the letter embargoing the blankets and closing Veleez operations before they left.

After the Zimra officials left, NewsDay approached Wang who then retreated into the factory, shutting the doors behind which he remained on his phone.

A source told NewsDay that Zimra first caught wind of Veleez’s tax evasion practices following a tip-off on Wednesday which involved the Chinese business putting wrong tariff codes leading the authority into investigating the business.

“They have a shop in town at the corner of Rezende and Bank [streets] and it was noted that they were selling blankets. As such, they were followed back to Southerton by the person who tipped-off Zimra, who spoke to some people and confirmed that the company makes blankets, bread and water, then Zimra was called,” the source said.

Veleez is believed to be the bottlers of Jojo purified water.

Statutory Instrument 19 of 2016 removed blankets from the open general import licence and requires importers to have permits to bring them in. These come with a tax code requiring importers to pay 40% of value imported, $2,50 per kilogramme and 15% value-added tax (VAT), which are measures to deter blanket imports.

Some Chinese companies reportedly issued receipts in Chinese and yuan without a Zimra registration number and VAT deductible.

The officials also pretended not to speak English whenever Zimra officers came to their offices.

Florence Jambwa, Zimra’s board secretary and director of legal and corporate services said the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 23:11] precluded Zimra from divulging specific information pertaining to its clients to a third party.

“I am, therefore, unable to respond to the issues you have raised because of the secrecy provisions of the Revenue Authority Act,” Jambwa said.

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26 Comments

  1. Let the Chinese operate freely you guys. Do not intimidate investors. We need cheap and affordable goods on the market

    1. @mutengi if you think Chinese are investors you are confused

    2. @ Mutengi, you are just advocating for people not to pay their statutory obligations. If we all don’t pay taxes – duty and VAT then all prices will be more competitive!!

    3. @MUTENGI I’m in China , these people are not like you think they are . they dont even us to work here , they way they treat us is so bitter

    4. chinese nationals are not inverstors. all thay are doing is putting temporary insfrastructure for looting and disappear when the time comes

  2. Manje ma chaina akavhara totenga zvakachipa kunani. Varume ivai ne tsitsi ne varombo kani.

  3. KKKKKK funny thing you buy cheap from China shops and then you sell these in front of registered shops who pay licenses, employ you, pay tax and have been doing a lot of social responsibility programmes to benefit your black poor skin. Then you blame politicians for messing up the economy kkkkkkk crazy idiots.

  4. Aleck Wisimati

    another zimbos left jobless

    1. The jobs that you talk of are not long-term.The Chinese are here to make quick money and leave us bankrupt. They pay slave wages and working conditions in Chinese firms are horrible. There is nothing to write home about the so-called Chinese investors. They loot wherever they go.They do not plough back the profits they make into the economy.All the profits go to china and make China super rich from our blood and sweat. Zimra is right to close them down, we need serious investors.

  5. I suggest zimra should occasionally hire the services of an interpretor. They may contact me if they need one

    1. Exactly, well said!!

  6. Some of the responses sound very interesting I tell you.

  7. Zimbos are funny we are busy feeling for these Chinese firms yet they are the same people involved in money laundering, you want cheap stuff at the expense of the whole economy.

  8. Chief – June 16 at 2.15 pm

    Let the Law take its course and no foreign investor is immune to paying taxes.

    These Chinese firms have become a menace to good trading business practices the Tax Authorities must be firm on them

  9. there should be legal ways of dealing with such practices. to apply racist connotations when dealing with this issue is immature. i believe closing down this firm is the best solution. fines and reprimands are sufficient. and let the law be applied uniformly to all including the “owners” of zimbabwe, zanu business people.

  10. there should be legal ways of dealing with such practices. to apply racist connotations when dealing with this issue is immature. i believe closing down this firm is not the best solution. fines and reprimands are sufficient. and let the law be applied uniformly to all including the “owners” of zimbabwe, zanu business people.

  11. Well said @Munyaradzi , it shows that you are professional and you have the love for your country all, other comments are just jokes , if someone commits an offence , let the law take its course.It is an offence not to declare the correct value to the Zimra officer so this Chinks must be behind bars and let the government appoint the Judicial manager to run the company to serve our brothers and sisters employed there.

  12. Well done job ZIMRA . we need to save our economy from these Chinese guys . You also need to visit LANVIGATOR tyre distributor in Highglen Industrial who are also not issuing VAT invoices and remitting it to you .

  13. Ngazvirehwe Sezvazviri

    We looked East And the East Has looked to our desperation with cunningness.

  14. Murimi wefodya

    Do they have bank Accounts as well. My brother works for a China shop in Mash west Kadoma. They are always accused of having made a shortage every month without Stock take and get $100 less their pay.The shop also changes names occasionally to evade tax. Tikudyiwa takavhura ziso se hove. Tipeiwo maSerious Zimra and relevant authorities. Hon Maridadi once posted something similar on social media a couple of months back.time for action the citizens are suffering

  15. You all talk as if you are all submitting your taxes….Every person who earsn any income in Zimbabwe should be paying their taxes. So lets not have double standards!! We all, whether Chinese or kwa Chivi, should be doing the right think and paying tax!!!!!! That is true patriotism

  16. The Country has several people who graduated from Chinese Universities. ZMRA should employ or hire such Chinese Speaking Zimbabweans to deal with the Asians.

  17. Well done Zimra…Zimbabweans let’s all speak out against the Chinese invasion. They are also responsible for our misery. I only know one MP who has been speaking up openly in parliament against the bad Chinese business people, that is Mabvuku legislator James Maridadi. The rest of them were conniving with the Asians in illicit deals that have run the country down!

  18. Its the story of the wife who leaves her husband for boyfriend and the boyfriend knows about it. You subject yourself to abuse. We (ZANU) ran to Chinese out of desperation thinking they would scorn the West, but now the West is laughing and our new friends are taking advantage of us.

    But seriously with all the history that Mugabe must have done. He must at the least understand the way Chinese do business. They are not investors in most countries they go to. They are use a profit maximization approach and sad to say (l am not a racist) but Chinese are actually disgusted by black people. They abuse our brothers and sisters everywhere they operate, South Africa, Botswana etc. So why would someone even call them friends.

  19. Most the businesses set up the the so called Chinese investors are some of the biggest tax evaders in the country.

    They do not pay tax and consequently , there goods are very cheap and mop up all the dollars remaining on the market .

    What surprises me is that ZIMRA is indifferent to the shenanigans of these people. They go after people/businesses paying tax and leave the evaders doing what they have always been doing.

  20. The Chinese are not investors at all. They are here for the US dollar only. Thus they dont accept ecocash and swipe cards. They are ingenuine. They had the courage to let the President celebrate a fake cheque in Chiyadzwa, yet they stole our diamonds. Be realistic gentleman. Tell me one infrastructure that they built in the past year and you call them investors.

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