Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
A 28-YEAR-OLD revenue specialist employed by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has been charged with criminal abuse of office after he failed to surrender a date stamp when he was transferred to another department. Itai Gerald Chamunorwa is accused of using the date stamp to clear goods which were being imported from South Africa in three vehicles resulting in Government losing $5 500 in import duty.
Chamunorwa was transferred from the Compliance Department in December last year to the Bonds Department. Compliance officers ensure that importers or exporters pay the requisite customs duty to Government while those in the Bonds Department check on imports departure validations.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before Beitbridge magistrate Mr Godswill Mavenge who remanded him to April 6 for continuation of trial. The prosecutor Mr Pernson Chekeya said Chamunorwa was transferred from the Compliance Department on December 14 last year to the Bonds Department.
He was supposed to surrender the Zimra date stamp number 613 which he had been allocated to use as a compliance officer, but he decided to retain it. Chamunorwa was allocated another date stamp number 894 at the new department.
Mr Chekeya said on March 5, the accused reported for duty at the Bonds Department and logged in the work registrar after which he then deployed himself to the Compliance Department at the red route which is used by private importers.
He cleared three vehicles which were carrying an assortment of goods and validated their importation using the Zimra date stamp number 613.
The three vehicles were intercepted by the police anti-smuggling unit as they were about to leave the border post.
The detectives asked the importers to produce import documents but they failed.
They managed to produce three gate passes which had been stamped by Chamunorwa.
Investigations led to the recovery of two Zimra date stamps numbers 613 and 894 from the accused’s vehicles which were parked at the border post. Chamunorwa was subsequently arrested.