Zimra boss takes aim at Parliament

HARARE - Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner-general Gershem Pasi is mulling a constitutional challenge to stop what he describes as abuse of parliamentary privilege in tackling national issues, including salary-gate.

This also comes as the tax collector and his organisation have petitioned local papers to stop publishing stories around his alleged astronomical pay following Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya’s recent motion that Pasi was raking in $310 000 per month.

“…in our view, parliamentary privilege does not extend to the making of reckless and wholly unfounded statements by members of Parliament in the hope that they can hide behind the concept of parliamentary privilege,” lawyers, Kantor & Immerman representing Pasi said yesterday.

“We have instructions to pursue this matter to its logical conclusion, including placing before the Constitutional Court, the competing issues of parliamentary privilege and the rights of individuals, and corporates to their good reputations and names, and to protect the same in accordance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” they added.

Although the tone and frame of the articles were different in local newspapers, the Zimra boss’ lawyers said that reports emanating from the recent debate were not only defamatory, but had also characterised their client as corrupt, amoral and Zimra’s affairs were shambolic.

“The integrity of Zimra and the fiscus at large has been compromised, and undermined by the false statement, and publication attributed to Honourable Chikwinya,” Kantor and Immerman said in the letter also copied to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator.

“Any continued publication of the same allegations will be malicious in the extreme and reckless on your part (newspapers), and in the event that damages proceedings are instituted, will serve to aggravate the amount claimed from yourselves,” the lawyers said, adding their “clients’ names and reputations had been damaged locally, and abroad”.

While the question of Chikwinya’s rights or privilege is being explored, Pasi and Zimra have also hinted that they were likely to go after the MDC man based on the new Constitution’s freedom, and privacy rights guarantees.

Comments (12)

What is he hiding if he is as clean as he says he is Mr. G Pasi should present his pay slip for all to see including all your benefits. Lets SEE otherwise Mr. Pasi and your lawyers shut up coz thats stolen taxpayers money you FOOL.

Roland Cele - 4 March 2014

Mr Pasi there is nothing you can do to Chikwinyas parliament expose. PArliamentary privilage is a powerful too, you will never ever succede to sue an MP for what he/she said inside parliament. If you have nothing to lose just disclose all your salary schedule to the whole population

priva - 4 March 2014

Lawyers and prostitutes can do anything for money. This is an unwinnable case. The only winner will be the lawyer representing Pasi. Same as in the Gumbura case!

Sekuru Chokocha - 4 March 2014

Pasi naGershem. Tairwa hondo, tichirumwa nematekenya kuZambia neMozambique kuti mbavha iyi igarike here isu tichidya nhoko dzvezvironda? Pasi nemharapatsetse Gershem!

Professor - 4 March 2014

Ca$hem Pasi ndiye ane Ca$h yese.

chama - 4 March 2014

The taxpayer has a right to full disclosure of the compensation packages that they accord functionaries in ALL public institutions (government ministries, departments, parastatals, commissions, publicly funded companies etc) . Competently run organizations have employee classifications with attendant salary bands. Mr Pasi & others who have been/are under public scrutiny can very easily put to rest perceived scurrilous speculation about their compensation by availing their paymasters (the public) honest disclosure of their organization's job specifications and salary bands. This is a very straight forward requirement as transparency fosters good governance and accountability. Resorting to litigation instead of adopting a straight forward & painless remedy, only serves to confirm the suspicion that the numbers being bandied about are close to the truth. Litigation will be used to delay and obfuscate the matter and fuel the perception that Mr Pasi is indeed receiving this ridiculous compensation.

Jane - 4 March 2014

Gesham Pasi and ZIMRA are misusing public funds to further his personal ambitions and that by itself is abuse of office. Why is ZIMRA financing that suit. He must meet his costs from the obscene salary he is enjoying and not from public funds from ZIMRA. He beckons he is greater than Zimbabwe by virtue of his connections from the bigwigs. We the general public are totally against such arrogance.

musaigwa - 5 March 2014

I smell a rat here.Is Mr Pasi hiding something.if he is clean let him disclose his salary rather than trying co scare the whole nation by his legal representation

cliff maringauta - 5 March 2014

Yes, pasi na Gershom Pasi. The guy is feeding from public funds and is ushering threats like as if he is the president of this country. Since when did he develop immunity like the Executive Presidium. Gershom Pasi has a duty to act to the interest of the nation, Zimbabwe, in that public office. Thats a gvt parastal and must never be allowed to abuse our funds against Chikwinya. To hell with Pasi. If President said you must face your music, sue the President and leave out Chikwinya. Institute the prosecution of these guys like yesterday so that they know how serious we are against all forms of white-collar crimes and corruption. Corruption is a criminal offence of D-GRADE.

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Herbs - 5 March 2014

What! he is using public funds to defend himself? is this what we pay taxes for that an individual can abuse our hard earned monies to cover his back? As a tax payer contributing to your salary Pasi ,i want to know how much exactly you earn? how many teachers, police officers or army officers match your monthly salary and benefits? How dare you threaten the voice of the people that MP is there to voice the public's concerns and you threaten him. to all MPs rise up and fight such corrupt individuals like Pasi who think they can use our monies to silence you, when we the people have put you in office to expose their evil deeds!

Mwana webvu - 5 March 2014

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