Zimra mum on Grace's donations

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has declined to respond to claims by First Lady Grace Mugabe that donations at her rallies were items impounded at border points.

Instead, the tax collector said the seized goods are stored in warehouses before being auctioned off or given out at the discretion of the State.

Last week, Grace told hundreds of Zanu PF supporters at her rally in Buhera North that “there are people who feel threatened when we come down to meet the people.

“They have been writing letters all over to say don’t give her resources, including those that are confiscated at the border, which I give to our people”.

The disclosure raised concern that Zimra — a critical arm of the State tasked to collect revenue for the Treasury — has been “captured” by the First Lady.

At the Buhera rally, Grace donated 20 000 bars of soap, 20 000 pairs of shoes,

20 000 litres of cooking oil, 10 000 kg of washing powder, 5 000 tablets of bath soap and 50 tonnes of clothes.

Zimra’s board secretary and director for legal and corporate services, Florence Jambwa, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement: “Goods declared forfeited become State property and their appropriation is done at the discretion of the State.”

Her response was silent on a specific question asking how much Grace was getting in terms of items confiscated from the border.

Jambwa, however,  referred to Section 38 of the Customs and Excise Act, which stipulates that “no goods shall be imported into Zimbabwe without entry being made and without duty being paid or secured”.

“Where the importer fails to pay duty or to produce the requisite import permits, the goods are detained by Zimra in a State warehouse to secure the duty and for safe keeping until payment of the duty due or production of the relevant permit,” Jambwa told the Daily News.

“The goods are put in a State warehouse where rent will accrue based on stipulated rates in terms of Section 172 of the Customs and Excise (General) Regulations, Statutory Instrument 154 of 2001.

“The importer will be issued with a Receipt for Items Held (RIH) as a record that Zimra has detained the goods.”

Since her dramatic entry into politics, Grace has made huge donations of basics, including blankets, to Zanu PF supporters.

Grace — who has regularly scorned non-governmental organisations on the campaign trail for allegedly using aid to sway poor villagers to vote for the opposition — seem to have no qualms about using impounded Zimra trinkets to campaign for herself and her husband, who is eyeing another presidential term in 2018 at a mature age of 94.

Jambwa said “goods detained on RIH shall be held for a period of 60 days provided that they are not perishable, after which — in the event that the duty is not paid — they shall be disposed of through a public auction”

Comments (4)

this lady called jambwa is so defensive of zimra nepamwe panomakisa she said the same thing pamafone ema might warriors

tee cee - 24 February 2017

Another confirmation on the fact that these SEPs, - ZRP ZIMRA ZINWA ZINARA are cashcows for the executive and zanupf. So goods confiscated from poor hardworking cross border traders trying to eke a living are then given to the first lady.

Sinyo - 24 February 2017

Sorry Tee Cee & sinyo,what comes as an answer from Jambwa is just a proffessional response fr zimra officials hence quoting u sections of the relevant law regulating the issue.The zimra officials are also afraid of Grace who has become so powerful in our gorvenance systems even though not holding n recognised official position in gvt.Remember Zimbabwe is not America where political figures can b criticised by ordinary people or exposed by officials in the responsible agencies of state without a backlash.We all know as citizens the zanu pf fear machinery both within its rank&file and to the general public,otherwise the zimra official will b roasted

addmore gudo - 24 February 2017

Zimra should not be MUM they have to be open

Remfe - 24 February 2017

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