Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
The trial of a ZIMRA official who reportedly received a US$2 000 bribe could not start yesterday after the witness failed to travel from South Africa due to the outbreak of COVID-19, a Harare court has heard.
The suspect, Learnmore Nyamudzanga appeared before regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya.
Representing the State, Teddy Kamuriwo told the court that he was not ready for trial because his witness had not managed to travel from South Africa due to the outbreak of corona virus in that country.
In South Africa alone, there are 116 confirmed cases.
Several heads of State including President Mnangagwa are on record for urging people to desist from traveling across borders.
The matter was remanded to April 30.
The complainant is Jonathan Fernandes, who was doing consultancy for Detect PVT LTD.
Allegations are that Nyamudzanga was employed by ZIMRA Head Office as a Revenue Officer by ZIMRA during the time the offense was committed.
Nyamudzanga’s duties included attending to walk in clients, responding to clients’ letters, appeals on late submissions, and payment penalties amongst others.
The State alleges that from 2015-2017, Detect managed to pay ZIMRA in full, the principal amount due of $1, 3 million and as such was supposed to pay another $1, 3 million which was inclusive of penalties and interest charges.
However in March 2018, Detect managed to pay that outstanding amount and was supposed to be granted ZIMRA Tax Amnesty in respect of paying the said interests and penalties charges which were amounting to $767 646.
Detect engaged Fernandes their consultant to approach ZIMRA on their behalf to solve the issue.
Fernandes went to ZIMRA where he met Nyamudzanga over the issue and he offered first to involve the said amnesty on the interest charges, on condition that he paid US$8 000.
This prompted Fernandes to lodge a complaint with police on September 6 last year and a trap was set up.
Nyamudzanga was arrested subsequently after he received US$2 000.