The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has reportedly garnished the State Procurement Board’s (SPB) bank account for the second time to recover over $800 000 in Pay As You Earn (PAYE) arrears for its former chairperson Mr Charles Kuwaza. The garnish order follows several attempts by Zimra to have the SPB settle the debt by issuing ultimatums that were not obliged with.
Sources said Zimra had lost patience with the SPB, hence the latest action. “Zimra first raised the issue of PAYE arrears for Mr Kuwaza last year and requested the board to state when it was going to settle the debt but they have not been cooperating,” said a source.
“After that, several ultimatums were issued but still they disregarded them because Mr Kuwaza was insisting that he would not pay arguing that his contract was signed by the President.
“Now that he has left the board, there are high chances that the board will pay the tax arrears on his behalf and then maybe deduct from his benefits.” Another source concurred: “We understand the SPB will deduct the money from his benefits but the question is, will his benefits exceed $800 000?
“That is where the issue is. Mind you, he was already paid way more than what was approved by the Office of the President and Cabinet through other benefits. “The other thing is that he is still coming to the office despite the fact that he is no longer employed here. He pretends as if nothing happened and that he is still in charge.”
SPB was not remitting PAYE on Mr Kuwaza’s earnings since 2009 while all the other employees of the SPB have had their earnings taxed and the PAYE sent to Zimra. The Herald last year published Mr Kuwaza’s mega perks, excluding salary, which gobbled about $210 000 in 2014 alone.
Zimra has been demanding that Mr Kuwaza settle his tax arrears, but his reluctance led to the garnishing of the SPB account with an outstanding bill of $1 million. However, there was about $230 000 in SPB’s two accounts, funds which were taken by Zimra.
Mr Kuwaza was relieved of his duties as SPB chairperson about a fortnight ago when President Mugabe appointed a new board. The new SPB chairperson, Ambassador Buzawani Mothobi declined to comment on the matter last Friday although he had requested e-mailed questions which were sent to him.
All he could say was: “I have no comment about this thing.”