Zimra intensifies graft fight

Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
Whistleblowers who blew the cover on Zimra commissioner for revenue assurance and special projects — Charles Jaure — resulting in his suspension on Monday, have called for the suspension of senior management in the same department to allow for smooth investigation into corruption allegations levelled against the official.

The tax collector on Monday sent its Comm Jaure on “leave of absence” for a raft of corruption allegations.

Comm Jaure is in the eye of a storm for among other allegations, doctoring documents and not effecting penalties on tax misdemeanours, thereby prejudicing Government that is entitled to 90 percent from proceeds of such penalties.

Zimra Commissioner General Ms Faith Mazani confirmed Comm Jaure’s suspension in a circular to all Zimra staff.

“This serves to advise you that the Commissioner Revenue Assurance and Special Projects has been asked to proceed on leave of absence with effect from September 8, 2018, to allow for investigations to be carried out following allegations levelled against him by a client, which are now in the public domain.

“Meanwhile, Ms Lonto Ndlovu has been appointed the Acting Commissioner Revenue Assurance and Special Projects with effect from September 10, 2018,” wrote the taxman’s Commissioner General in circular number 30 of 2018 addressed to all Zimra staff and dated 10 September.

Whistle blowers are, however, of the view that Comm Jaure could not have acted alone and there is a need to have a senior manager “name withheld” with whom he worked with to step aside and allow for some investigations.

The whistle blowers are also not happy with the time the authority is taking to act on reported cases of corruption, which they say could hamper the fight against graft.

This publication is in possession of a letter written by Manase and Manase Legal Practitioners on July 20 to the authority’s Loss Control Director on alleged malpractices by the now suspended Commissioner and was only acted upon on September 8.

“The problem we have is when we raise issues it takes time before the authority takes action,” said a whistle blower who spoke on condition of anonymity. In the case of Commissioner Jaure for example, what is obvious is that — if proven — he did not act alone in (alleged) prejudicing Government so it is important that for an investigation to be effective, senior managers he worked with, who did not report his alleged misdemeanours be asked to step aside,” said the whistle blower.

Comm Gen Mazani could not be reached for a comment yesterday.

President Mnangagwa is on record saying the fight against corruption will be one of the pillars on which the country’s quest for economic revival will be anchored on and has gone on to establish a Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet to improve efficiency.

“In fighting corruption, we don’t have friends. It’s each man for himself. I’m happy that most of the people in the leadership accept the concept of fighting corruption,” President Mnangagwa has previously been quoted as saying.

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