HARARE – Two Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) employees based at Mutare and Beitbridge boarder posts, who cashed in on undervaluing imported motor vehicles and swindled their employer of $200 000 collectively, appeared in court yesterday.
Moses Jemedze, 36, a revenue officer at Beitbridge Border Post and Margaret Nyahoda, 49, a supervisor at Mutare Customs and Excise appeared before Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe.
Each of the accused persons faces three counts of “criminal abuse of duty as public officers”.
They were granted $500 bail each and remanded to June 1.
Jemedze’s duties included processing declaration forms for immigrants, inheritance, temporary import permits, physical examination of motor vehicles and other goods and import duty assessments. The court heard that on August 14, Jemedze received a bill of entry from Sithokozile Mrewa and carried out physical examination of a brand new Toyota Prado 2015 model.
Jemedze reportedly misrepresented it as a second hand and fraudulently declared value of R190 000 and assessed duty of $8 993,84.
To cover up the offence, Jemedze destroyed the importation documents and the car was subsequently seized on January 14 this year.
Enquiries with South Africa Revenue Authority proved that the actual value of the car on export to Zimbabwe was R699 900 converted to $54 344,28.
Using the correct value of the motor vehicle customs duty and value added tax due to the State was $33 150,01.
The State was therefore prejudiced of $24 156,17.
According to State papers, Jemedze employed the same tactic and undervalued a Toyota Land Cruiser VX V8 2015 model and another Toyota Land Cruiser 2016 V8 VX 2016 model prejudicing the State of $34 471,69 and $20 046,40, respectively.
According to State papers Nyahoda was leading a team of five revenue officers and an office assistant when she received a bill of entry of an importer identified as Charlton Chihuri from Zimra Data Processing Centre.
Instead of instructing her subordinates to carry out physical examination of the vehicle, Nyahoda ignored to check or verify the authenticity of the documents used to clear the car and purported that the physical examination had been carried out by one G Mashiza.
It turned out that Mashiza does not exist on Zimra employee records and the flawed transaction prejudiced the State of $32 939,21.
On the second count,$ 32 825,18 was lost and $33 107,99 on the third count.
According to State papers nothing was recovered.