Top Zimra official suspended over graft claims


The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has suspended its commissioner responsible for investigations, Charles Jaure, who is currently being probed by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on allegations of demanding a bribe from a whistleblower.

By Everson Mushava

Zimra commissioner-general Faith Mazani confirmed Jaure’s suspension at the weekend to allow investigations triggered by a nasty fight between the official and an unnamed whistleblower.

“Zimra is conducting its own investigations into the matter,” Mazani said on Monday.

“Meanwhile, the official in question has been asked to take a leave of absence to allow investigations to be carried out. Zimra will give ZACC any support they require as they carry out investigations into the matter.”

A notice by Mazani to all Zimra staff dated September 10 read: “This serves to advise you that the Commissioner Revenue Assurance and Special Projects has been asked to proceed on leave of absence with effect from September 8, 2018 to allow for investigations to be carried out following allegations levelled against him by a client which are now in the public domain.”

She said a Ms M Lonto Ndlovu would act in Jaure’s position.

ZACC commissioner in charge of investigations, Goodson Nguni last week said the anti-graft body had opened a probe into the official implicated in a bribery storm with a whistleblower who had exposed irregular financial dealings at telecommunications operator NetOne and other government entities.

According to documents seen by NewsDay, in 2017, Jaure allegedly demanded a bribe from a whistleblower to expedite payments for a tip-off on alleged tax evasion by NetOne.

The whistleblowing resulted in Zimra allegedly recovering about $18 million, but Jaure maintained the revenue authority only recovered $8 million, a move the whistleblower claimed was a plot to prejudice him of his 10% entitlement of the recovered funds.

After he refused to pay Jaure, the whistleblower claimed the Zimra official pulled out evidence from his file and attempted to lie on amounts due to him in a bid to fix him, while also delaying processing the payment.

The whistleblower requested Jaure to recuse himself from adjudicating on any issue that involved him, but he allegedly refused, with the matter being taken to Mazani when she joined Zimra nine months ago.