Two Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) employees were yesterday sentenced to 36 months imprisonment each by a Harare magistrate after they were convicted of undercharging goods belonging to the wife of Energy minister Joram Gumbo, Eristinah, at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Tendai Hombiro and Moses Nyango, who pleaded not guilty to the charges of criminal abuse of office, appeared before magistrate Hosea Mujaya.
However, Hombiro and Nyango will serve 27 months effective jail time after the magistrate suspended nine months on condition of good behaviour.
The duo denied the offence, saying Eristinah was trying to use her husband’s influence in government to get them convicted.
The court heard that on May 16 this year, Eristinah presented her declaration of duty form to Hombiro and Nyango, who were stationed at RGM International Airport national handling services, and they undercharged her duty by $1 447, as she was made to pay $489 instead of $1 936.
After noting that her duty was undercharged, Eristinah raised alarm to Gumbo, who then informed the Zimra management and ordered them to resolve the matter.
A second examination was carried out on the consignment and it was discovered that the duo had undercharged duty.
It was also discovered that on the same day, the duo met Loice Chakanyuka, who presented her airway bill and declaration form for her goods to be cleared.
The duo carried out physical examination on the consignment, which was coming from China under the name of Tapiwa.
An assessment of duty was made and a duty of $489 was made to be paid on receipt.
The goods, which included pants and headphones, were said to be weighing 80kg with a total value of $300.
The court heard that Hombiro and Nyango, who are public officers, intentionally omitted to weigh the consignment as per Zimra norm and the goods were re-examined and they found out that they were weighing 92kg.
Nancy Chandakaona appeared for the State.