Ginimbi acquitted

Blessing Masakadza

BUSINESSMAN Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure was yesterday acquitted on charges of not declaring income returns to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, prejudicing it of over US$30 000, while his company was convicted of two counts of tax evasion involving over US$2 million and not paying employees’ tax of over US$355 000.

Ginimbi’s company, Piko Trading, was fined a total of $45 600 on the tax evasion cases
Also, the company was yesterday absolved on allegations of smuggling over five million kilogrammes of liquid petroleum gas.
State counsel Andrew Kumire indicated that they would be approaching the High Court to appeal the judgment.
Regional magistrate Crispen Mberewere, in acquitting the company, said the issue could have fallen during investigations  had they been done by a competent officer.
He said just a read of the Petroleum Act should have seen that the State case would not stand.
The magistrate, in acquitting Ginimbi, ruled that he had been acting in good faith by engaging with Zimra and even paying the US$35 000 under protest and that criminal proceedings were unnecessary as the issue could have been dealt with in office.
The court also condemned tax evasion, saying it prejudiced the government.
The court heard that in the tax evasion case, Kadungure representing Piko Trading allegedly made false statements or entry into returns rendered in VAT between February 2009 and March 2016.
The company declared that they received US$3 194 329,47 including VAT in sales returns, while they had pocketed US$24 187 026, prejudicing Zimra of US$2 512 149 in the process.
Initially, Ginimbi was jointly charged with the company before applying for exception, arguing the State had erred in charging him in his personal capacity, an application which was accepted by the court.
The court also heard that Piko Trading failed to pay US$355 559 in employees’ tax to the Commissioner of Taxes from February 2009 to April 2016, an allegation which they admitted to.
The court heard between January 2015 and March 2016, Piko Trading smuggled 5 289kgs of Liquefied Petroleum
Gas into the country, leaving Zimra suffering US$672 533 in potential income, an allegation which the company denied and was acquitted after trial.
In his personal capacity, Ginimbi was accused of not declaring tax returns to the commissioner of tax involving US$119 000, an allegation which he was cleared of after trial.

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