Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
A customs officer employed by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has been arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office after he facilitated the importation of a vehicle from South Africa.
Kudzai Mafundu (31) is alleged to have connived with a customs clearing agents to misrepresent a Toyota Hilux double cabin as a single cabin in July and was arrested this week when the vehicle owner tried to register it with Zimra.
It is reported that in the process the State lost $10 000 in import duty as a result of Mafundu’s actions.
Mafundu appeared in court last week and was not asked to plead to the charges (criminal abuse of office) when he was arraigned before Beitbridge Resident Magistrate Mr Langton Mukwengi.
He was remanded to October 29 on $200 bail.
Prosecuting, Mr Manyonga Kuvarega told the court that on July 26 this year, Services Deliveries Enterprises, a clearing company, registered an entry to clear a 2009 Toyota Hilux single cab.
He said Mafundu, who had full knowledge of the entry but was not present for its physical inspection, processed the vehicle’s importation documents without following proper procedures.
He calculated the duty of the vehicle using the values of a single cab instead of those of a double cab.
Single and double cabs have different values for duty purposes (VDP). The court also heard that Mafundu put the vehicle’s VDP at R78 014,85 based on the false information that it was a 2009 model (Toyota Hilux single cab) and assessed customs duty yet it was a Toyota Hilux double cab 2010 model.
Mr Kuvarega said on October 11, Ester Gondoza, who had imported the vechile, went to the Zimra offices in Masvingo to ascertain the position regarding its registration resulting in the discovery of the offence.
He said the vehicle was seized and revalued at $17 019,68. The matter was reported to the police and Mafundu was subsequently arrested.
The prosecutor said as a result of the misrepresentation the State was prejudiced $10 649 in import duty, which was recovered.