Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority have said the luxurious bus bought by Nyasha Mushekwi should be brought into their custody pending a review of the duty which the Zimbabwe international footballer paid to bring it into this country.
A week after tears flowed in the shadows of the National Sports Stadium, as the CAPS United family staged an outdoor summer party in Harare to welcome the 45-seater bus, Zimra officials have said it should be brought into their custody.
Mushekwi bought the bus in China for his old club, as a way of thanking the Green Machine for providing the foundation for his professional football career, which also took him to South Africa, Sweden and Belgium.
The striker flew from his base to clear the bus at the Beitbridge Border Post and then handed it over to CAPS United officials.
On Sunday he went back to South Africa, after spending a week back home, to start training for the forthcoming Chinese season under the supervision of his specialist coaches.
However, yesterday, he received the news that Zimra officials wanted the bus to be taken into their custody while they review the duty he paid for its entrance into this country.
‘‘I just heard they (Zimra) are taking the bus, it’s quite disappointing, I don’t understand the situation because they were the ones who told me to pay the duty which I paid for the bus to be cleared to come home,’’ said Mushekwi.
‘‘Now, I’m hearing they are saying the duty I paid wasn’t enough for a bus like the one I brought in and, maybe, they want me to pay more, I don’t really know.
‘‘What I can say is that the news is very disappointing, especially after you have done everything to try and help sport in your country, and – for me – it’s like saying in Zimbabwe one can’t do something good and it gets celebrated because this is our country and we are the ones who can make a difference.
‘‘It makes you think twice, when such things happen, and you end up asking yourself if this was worth it, at all, or I could have taken whatever money I invested into the project and use it for my personal needs where I would not have to go through all these problems.’’
Zimra head of corporate communications Francis Chimanda said he was out of town and referred this newspaper to their chief corporate communications officer, Inzwirashe Muonwa, who asked for questions to be put in writing.
Muonwa also said they did not comment on individual tax issues. Tears flowed among some CAPS United fans, overwhelmed by the occasion, on the day the bus was unveiled. The occasion was attended by officials from the Sports and Recreation Commission, ZIFA and the PSL.
Mushekwi revealed, in his speech read on his behalf by his sister Nyari, that he had tried to get a waiver on duty for the bus but, eventually, was not accorded that privilege.
‘‘Firstly, I would like to thank God for this amazing gift that he has given to my old team CAPS United. I am at a loss for words on how grateful I am for this wonderful gift to my team,’’ he said.
‘‘I would like to thank the Ministry of Sports for the efforts they did to try and get me a letter of exemption of duty, though it didn’t pull through, I am grateful for the efforts and all the other Government officials who tried to assist in this quest of trying to get the exemption letter.
‘‘I am grateful to their efforts. I hope through this gesture, other players can witness and be inspired.
‘‘I know most guys are inspired, I know the guys have always wanted to do something for their old clubs, even just grooming at grassroots level.’’
He said there were a lot of former players interesting in investing back in domestic football. ‘‘I know guys are interested in this but it’s just that we need more support from our Government just to encourage us also, I don’t know how our Government can help us in this regard,’’ he said.
‘‘We would be super grateful and I am sure most guys are going to run up even in the small things, it doesn’t have to be a bus, just the small things will make a difference in your old team or the young upcoming players because Zimbabwe has a lot of talent.
‘‘It’s just that our talent is not being recognised the way it’s supposed to. At the end of the day, praise to the Almighty God for all the blessings and such a wonderful day and the amazing thing that has happened, not only in my life, but also in the CAPS United family, to help the team with this bus.’’