Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
The Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries $28 million tax evasion case took a new twist yesterday during the defence case of the trial within a trial as the church representative tried to discredit State papers.
The ‘trial within a trial’ was as a result of the church’s defence team led by Admire Rubaya’s refusal to have financial statements produced in the main trial allegedly acquired by ZIMRA officials when they raided the church’s premises.
Oliver Marwa who was part of the defence opened the defence case in the trial within a trial by leading evidence from the church’s representative in the trial of Nelson Tawanda Marimo who is also the church’s Head of Finance.
Marimo tried to disprove the documents produced by ZIMRA chief security officer Tinashe Madakadze arguing that the documents couldn’t be acquired in his absence as he had travelled to South Africa.
“I don’t know the document that’s being referred to as the church’s financial statement as I am the one who drafts such documents with my laptop with which I had travelled to South Africa when the raid was done at the church premises.
“I only shared those financial statements with Innocent Sigudu our tax advisor who was not present at the church premises when the raid occurred; above all, I don’t relate to the financial documents as they don’t reflect the financial position of PHD.
“They don’t have a stamp of signature to authenticate its contents.
“The accounts personnel Winnie Matimati and Tatenda Chingodze referred to by Madakadze don’t complete financial statements so they couldn’t be in a position to comment as alleged and in any case, the ZIMRA officials could have tempered with documents in the computers they seized,” said Marimo.
Prosecuting George Manokore blasted the church’s representative saying he was not in the position to tell the court the circumstances that were prevailing at the time the computers were seized as he was out of the country.
“You are contradicting yourself by saying immediate subordinates had no access to the financial statements and were not the ones who provided them to ZIMRA yet they are the who did finance work in your absence which required access to the computers which they helped the ZIMRA officials access the financial statements,” said Manokore.
Presiding magistrate Hosea Mujaya remanded the matter to May 24 for trial continuation.