Nyore Madzianike, Harare Bureau
FORMER principal director of State residences, Douglas Tapfuma, allegedly used a Bill of Entry code reserved for goods imported by the President personally to bring into the country a commuter omnibus and a Honda Accord in a bid to evade paying duty to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).
He is also accused of using Government codes for six other vehicles.
Tapfuma used the Bill of Entry code set aside for goods exclusively imported for Government use to bring into the country six other cars: a Toyota Hiace, Toyota Alteza, BMW 318i, two Honda Fits and a Nissan Tilda.
This was revealed by Zimra’s declaration and processing manager Mr Innocent Muranganwa while testifying in a matter in which Tapfuma is facing criminal abuse of office charges after he imported personal cars using the State Residence Department.
“From the list of eight cars that we were given to trace, two were cleared as belonging to the President and six to Government,” he said. “On the Bill of Entries there are codes used to identify different types of clearances and on one Bill of Entry a code was used which is reserved for goods belonging to the President.
“On the other Bill of Entry code 403 which is reserved for use when importing goods for exclusive use by the Government was used.
“We then also discovered that on another Bill of Entry a Toyota Hiace was imported using code 446. These codes cannot be used by private individuals.”
Mr Muranganwa told the court that Tapfuma was supposed to pay duty for all the cars he imported since they were for his personal use.
Former deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Ray Ndhlukula rubbished claims raised by Tapfuma’s lawyer Brighton Pabwe that his testimony was motivated by enmity existing between the two over the past three years.