FORMER Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner-general Gershem Pasi, who is facing criminal abuse of office charges, has filed a notice before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Chitumbura, seeking removal from remand.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Represented by Farai Mushoriwa, Pasi (59), who is on $2 000 bail, has given the State until February 26 to furnish him with a trial date, failing which he would apply for refusal of further remand.
This was after the State indicated that further extra-territorial investigations in Hong Kong were required before taking the matter to trial.
Allegations are that in January 2014, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, led a high-powered delegation, which included Pasi, to China to affirm Inspur Company’s capability to implement e-government projects, including e-taxation at Zimra.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between government and Inspur for e-taxation, targeted to be completed by December 2014.
It is alleged upon return, Pasi set up a Zimra committee to design the systems and also draw specifications of the product to be supplied.
Zimra’s ICT department, headed by Tyiyapo Valempini, together with Inspur engineers, designed the systems.
It is the State’s case that sometime in June 2014, after Zimra and Inspur had agreed on the specification, Pasi did not seek a quotation from Inspur, but took the systems design to Righlux Services (Pvt) Ltd, a Zimbabwean registered company distributing Inspur products.
This was despite the fact that the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) had authorised direct engagement.
On July 1, 2014, Righlux Services issued a $32 649 939 quotation, purporting it was from Inspur.
It is alleged on August 6, 2014, Pasi, using the Righlux Services quotation, sought authority to engage the State Procurement Board (SPB) for the supply, delivery and installation of the information management system from the OPC.
On September 2, 2014, the SPB acceded to Pasi’s request for direct engagement with Inspur.
Pasi allegedly signed a $32 649 939 contract with Righlux Services, which was couched to reflect that Zimra had signed a contract with Inspur.
Righlux Services allegedly went on to sign another contract with Inspur for the supply of the products to Zimra at a cost of $11 819 000, which Inspur supplied directly to Zimra.
Righlux Services only acted as an intermediary as all the work was done by Inspur engineers from Inspur Zimbabwe.
As a result of Pasi’s actions, Zimra was allegedly prejudiced of $11 944 780 and a potential $8 886 159,32.
Pasi allegedly caused the transfer of $23 763 780 outside the country to beneficiaries who are yet to be identified.