Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
A revenue specialist with Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has appeared in court on allegations of defrauding his employer of $7 652 179,45 in a botched value-added tax refund claims deal.
Godknows Chakawaneyi was facing fraud charges when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi.
He was granted $70 000 bail.
Chakawaneyi’s accomplices Silence Maturure (42) and Farai Nyandoro (49) yesterday appeared before the same magistrate facing the same charges.
The court heard that sometime in August 2020 accused working in connivance with Godknows Chakawaneyi a revenue specialist with Zimra based at Kurima House who is still at large hatched a plan to defraud Zimra through the fraudulent VAT refund claim.
It is alleged that Maturure approached Nyandoro who is director of HEFA Electrical Private Limited and marketed the idea.
It is the State’s case that Nyandoro gave his company Stanbic account number to Maturure who then gave it to Chakawaneyi for use in the fraudulent VAT refund claim from Zimra.
The court heard that equipped with the HEFA account number the accused submitted VAT returns online to Zimra to enable the claiming of VAT refunds.
It is alleged that on September 17 2020 Zimra paid value-added tax refund amounting to $7 652 179,45 into HEFA Private Limited’s Stanbic account and Nyandoro retained a total of $2 889 379 into the company account which he also used to his own benefit and transferred $4 762 800 into Hand Painted Investment’s CBZ account.
It is the State’s case that the accused persons started buying United States dollars in the parallel market and raised a total of US$40 000 which was eventually handed over to Maturure and they shared amongst themselves.
The offence came to light on March 10 2021 when a Zimra internal audit discovered high volumes of VAT refunds that had been paid to various companies including HEFA Electrical Private Limited leading to their arrest.