HIGH Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero yesterday deferred the sentencing of former Finance deputy minister Terrence Mukupe, after he was convicted on Tuesday for smuggling 138 979 litres of diesel from Mozambique.
The matter was deferred to November 16.
In aggravation, the State represented by Wishes Mabhaudhi and Lovet Masuku called Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) auditor Washington Taringa, to explain how the tax authority was prejudiced as a result of Mukupe’s deeds.
“Zimra has targets which are set by the State and these targets need to be met. So when there is transit fraud it means that Zimra won't meet that target. The targets are meant to build schools, clinics and so forth,” Taringa said.
“There is also the creation of unfair competition among players in the same industry. When the products come without paying tax it means that the products are going to be sold at a lower price, hence unequal competition.”
He further told the court that Zimra made a financial loss due to smuggling of goods. Mukupe was convicted together with Same Kapisoriso, Joseph Taderera and Leonard Mudzuto.
The quartet was remanded in custody pending sentencing.
The court heard that on January 27, 2017 at Forbes Border Post in Mutare, the four conspired to unlawfully import diesel without paying duty.
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They misrepresented that the diesel was going to be offloaded in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Pursuant to their plan, they replaced the diesel with water in Zimbabwe.
The matter came to light on January 30, 2017 when officials from Zimra intercepted the fuel tankers at Chirundu Border Post to verify the nature of the goods they were carrying.
The court heard that the State lost potential revenue amounting to US$55 591.