ZIMRA accountant up for $25k fraud

Court Reporter
A Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) accountant appeared before a Harare magistrate on Friday facing charges of fraudulently transferring VAT refunds for different clients into his wife’s bank account. Tapuwa Chidemo (44) and his wife, Tsitsi Kanyasa (42), appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo. Kanyasa works at the Harare Institute of Technology. They are facing fraud charges.

Mr Makomo remanded the couple to March 31 on $300 bail each. They were ordered to reside at their Chishawasha Hills, Glen Lorne, home in Harare and not to interfere with State witnesses.

Chidemo was ordered not to visit ZIMRA offices. The couple is represented by Mr Admire Rubaya. The complainant is ZIMRA represented by its regional accountant, Mr Shadreck Pfende.

The court heard that Chidemo was responsible for importing files from the VAT refund section and initiating payment using the Paynet system.

Chidemo was solely responsible for approving the refunds and authorising the payment to the banks of ZIMRA clients as well as establishing rejections of electro-transferred funds and completing the manual transfer advice.

The court heard that Kanyasa is a holder of a CABS account number 9027933337.

Prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that between April 2014 and January this year Chidemo received refund schedules. After processing payments, $24 794 was returned to ZIMRA on different dates for various reasons including wrong client account numbers.

Instead of getting the correct account numbers for the clients, Chidemo prepared a fraudulent refund schedule bearing his wife’s account number. Subsequently, he fraudulently transferred the money into his wife’s bank account, it is alleged.

ZIMRA lost $24 794 and nothing was recovered.

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