HARARE - Former Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa has dared Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner general Gershem Pasi to collect taxes from elite politicians like Environment minister Savior Kasukuwere whom he alleges is building a monstrous house with many rooms.
Mliswa said while the revenue authority is making strides at enforcing tax compliance, much revenue is still going unaccounted for through unethical dealings conducted by powerful politicians in the country.
“I would like to throw simple questions, Kasukuwere the house you are building in Glen Lorne, three floors with an elevator and over 50 bedrooms. He owes me $13 000 from service station rentals. How then did he get the money?” queried Mliswa during a recent news conference in Harare.
He added: “Zimra, I mean Gershem Pasi is busy going for small boys, why can’t he go for these big boys. That’s my challenge for Gershem Pasi. Go for these big boys. Let’s see where the money is coming from. The moment that you say I’m now this rich, we start asking have you been paying tax. If you are a true leader you must pay your tax”.
“The other guys who are purporting to be rich do so while Zimra is sitting on millions of what they owe but because they have political connections and so forth, it’s just being put on hold,” said Mliswa.
This comes at a time when government is struggling to meet its wage bill and service delivery continues to crumble at a time when Zanu PF ministers and business tycoons who are well-connected continue to immorally amass wealth.
The youthful politician has been arrested and acquitted several times.
Many believe he is a victim of political reprisals for naming powerful people engaging in corrupt activities.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe being an agro-based economy, Mliswa said it is critical that government does a thorough land audit to ensure that there is fair distribution of wealth among all citizens.
“Zanu PF thinks we don’t know about a system called warehousing being used by the big guys to own many farms. You own it but your name doesn’t exist on papers. The land probe is serious”.
“If I say for example minister (Local government minister Ignatius) Chombo has 10 farms, the Grange in Rafingora that is in his name and has over 2 000 hectares. Then X farm and I believe the system must be able to check that”.
“You will find there is another owned by a nephew who doesn’t have even “O” Level but there are new tractors on the farm but doesn’t have a bank account but you then have to look at the farming activities then compare the individual’s name and capacity”.
Civil society and the opposition have made repeated calls for a land-audit while government dragged its feet until last year when $10 million was allocated for the programme.