Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials in court for fraud Martin Tswarai Mutenda (55), whose company is involved in civil engineering, was remanded in custody on fraud charges, pending his bail application today before Harare regional magistrate Mr Donald Ndirowei.

Prosper Dembedza Herald Correspondent

Two Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) employees who allegedly facilitated importation of vehicles using fraudulent civil servants rebate scheme letters have appeared in court.

Pardon Makanda (36) and Robert Jakopo (31) were facing fraud charges when they appeared before Harare Magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje who remanded them in custody to tomorrow for bail ruling.

Makanda, Jakopo and their accomplices Patricia Lisa Masia and Tendai Chapfunya who had already appeared in court, allegedly connived to defraud the Zimra.

It is the State’s case that on February 1, Masia applied to the Ministry of Finance for authority to import a Toyota Auris and attached the invoice as proof of purchase.

The court heard that on March 29, the Ministry of Finance issued her a letter of authorisation to Masia to import a 2014 Toyota Auris with duty not exceeding US$5000.

It is alleged that a copy of the authorisation letter was sent to Masia and to Zimra to facilitate processing of a corresponding rebate letter.

The court heard that Masia, having obtained the authorization letter and with intention to deceive Zimra, decided to fraudulently change the vehicle from Toyota Auris to a Mercedes-Benz. She approached Richard Farai Sambo for assistance to achieve her purpose.

On April 24, Tendai Chapfunya was approached by Richard Farai Sambe on behalf of Masia seeking assistance to facilitate issuance of a fraudulent rebate letter changing details of the Toyota Auris Chassis no. NZE184-6014226 on the authorisation letter dated 29 March to a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Chassis WDO2120262A849730 year 2013/9.

It is alleged on the same day, Chapfunya contacted Makanda, a Zimra official who then agreed to generate a fake rebate letter and later instructed him to send the documents (initial for Auris authorization letter, application letter, ID, driver’s licence, invoice and Mercedes Benz invoice) that needed to be changed on email; [email protected] and US$800 for facilitating the fraudulent change.

Makanda further instructed Chapfunya to give the money to his friend’s wife in her office at Zimra 2B Building for onward transmission to him on receiving the documents and the money.

Makanda, working in connivance with Jakopo at Zimra Masvingo, generated a fake rebate letter in the name of Masia with details of the Mercedes Benz instead of the Toyota Auris which was on the authorisation letter.

On April 27, Chapfunya received the rebate letter dated 24 April, from Jakopo, which he then forwarded to [email protected] at the border post misrepresenting that authority had been granted for Masia to import a Mercedes Benz instead of the Toyota Auris on the authorisation letter from Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Zimra officials at Kariba Border Post, upon realising that the vehicle was undervalued and that there were discrepancies between the authorisation letter and rebate letter impounded the motor vehicle.

As a result of the misrepresentation, Zimra suffered a potential prejudice for the actual value of the Mercedes Benz yet to be quantified. The vehicle has been seized under Zimra certificate number 037219.

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