Zimra bosses hearings begin

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) says disciplinary hearings for suspended Commissioner General Gershem Pasi and five other executives have begun.

Zimra director for legal and corporate services Florence Jambwa, last week said Pasi’s cross-examination was being handled externally.

“The hearings are going on, you know disciplinary hearings are very complicated and can take quite some time to get completed so they are on-going and we are not yet in a position to give you a date of when they will be finished because we don’t know…” she said at a workshop last week.

This was after the national tax collector sent Pasi and five other executives on forced paid leave in May last year to pave way for investigations on allegations of corruption and poor corporate governance unearthed by a forensic audit instituted by the Auditor-General’s Office.

The affected executives are Loss Control director Charlton Chihuri; Commissioner of Customs and Excise Anna Mutombodzi; ICT and Infrastructural Development director Tjiyapo Velempini, Internal audit boss Clive Charles Majengwa and director for Human Resources Sithokozile Thembani Mrewa.

Initially, the hearings of the five managers were supposed to be conducted last month with Pasi’s interrogation slated for this month, however, the process is dragging on almost a year after the managers were suspended.

According to Zimra sources, the organisation’s code of conduct stipulates that in such instances, implicated officers must appear before the disciplinary committee within 14 days.

However, the process hit a snag in November last year, after Pasi through his lawyers filed a bid to interdict the hearings, which was dismissed by High Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni.

The board has since suspended salaries for all the implicated managers.

The salary freeze was on the back of an HLB Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants forensic audit that accused the six of having allegedly prejudiced the tax collecting agency of millions of dollars in shady dealings.

However, Jambwa said she could not give timelines on when the process would be completed.

“…But hearings are on-going and when completed you will get to know the results,” she said.

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