Nyore Madzianike Senior Reporter
Genius Kadungure’s gas company, Piko Trading, was yesterday fined $36 000 and ordered to pay $2 512 149,80 that it owes Zimra in taxes after it failed to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) between February 2009 and May 2016.
Harare regional magistrate Mr Crispen Mberewere also fined Piko Trading, which was represented by Kadungure, $9 000, and ordered it to pay $355 559 in outstanding company taxes that it failed to pay after recording sales amounting to $24 187 026.
The firm was ordered to pay the fines immediately and settle the outstanding amounts by August 31, 2020.
Piko Trading, through its director Kadungure, admitted to the two offences.
In sentencing the gas firm, Mr Mberewere noted that the money could have added value to the fiscus had it been paid on time considering the inflationary environment has been prevailing from the time the offences were committed.
The company was cleared of charges of smuggling gas into the country and Kadungure, who was being charged in his personal capacity, was found not guilty of failing to declare income returns to ZIMRA.
In his judgment, Mr Mberewere expressed dissatisfaction over the State’s failure to properly investigate allegations that Piko Trading was smuggling gas into the country.
Mr Mberewere said the Act governing the importation and sale of gas were very clear and the charges against the company would have fallen off if the prosecution had handled the matter properly.
“I am baffled by the level of investigations and if the investigating officer was competent enough, he would have checked the Act,” he said. “A mere check of the Act would have saved time.”
Mr Mberewere said Kadungure had shown just cause why he failed to declare the income returns to ZIMRA when he said he was living outside the country and thought he was not obliged to pay the tax.
The State led by Mr Andrew Kumire had alleged that Piko Trading between January 2015 and March 2016 smuggled about 5 289kg of liquefied petroleum gas into the country, and did not pay $672 533 in taxes.
Further, the State had alleged that Kadungure in his personal capacity failed to submit documents about his income to the Commissioner of Taxes from January 2010 to December 2015 as required by the Income Tax Act, giving rise to the charge of failing to pay $119 860,93.