High Court to rule on Ginimbi bail today

HARARE - A High Court judge will issue a ruling today on an application for bail by flamboyant socialite and businessman Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure, who is accused of prejudicing the government of $3,5 million in tax evasion.

The 34-year-old gaudy businessman will know his fate today after spending the weekend behind bars, following a court ruling denying him freedom last Friday.

After being denied bail, the South Africa-based energy trader Kadungure — who is being charged as the director of Piko Trading and Pioneer Gas — through his lawyer Jonathan Samukange, approached the High Court with an appeal, which was heard on Saturday.

High Court judge Tawanda Chitapi reserved ruling on the gas tycoon’s bail application, and will deliver the verdict on the request today.

“We filed the appeal papers on Friday and argued the matter today (Saturday) before High Court judge Chitapi. We are now waiting for the ruling which will be made on Monday (today),” Samukange said.

Kadungure was last Friday not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Bianca Makwande, who remanded him in custody to November 30.

In her ruling, Makwande said although bail was a right, Kadungure had committed a serious offence, which would influence him to flee to South Africa, where he is believed to have another home.

Makwande denied Kadungure freedom, despite both the defence and State counsels having consented to his release on $1 000 bail.

According to State papers, the complainant is the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).

It is the State’s case that between February 2009 and May 2016, Kadungure, with the alleged intention of evading paying Value Added Tax, made a misrepresentation to Zimra that he had made total sales of $2 777 678 inclusive, instead of the actual $9 092 951.

The alleged offence came to light when Zimra conducted an investigation into the activities of Piko Trading.

It is further alleged that in 2015, Zimra conducted lifestyle audits of socialites after observing their excessive expenditure, which was not matching their tax declarations.

A self-declared car aficionado, Ginimbi has a narcissistic propensity and loves to flaunt his wealth on social media.

The flashy businessman is said to have been interviewed by Zimra officials on March 2, 2016, during which he indicated that he owns a residential property in Domboshawa valued at $200 000, a Rolls-Royce motor vehicle valued at R4 million, a Bentley valued at $500 000, a Range Rover valued at R1,1 million, a Mercedes Benz valued at R1m.

The court further heard Kadungure also advised Zimra that he owns furniture worth several thousands of dollars in Domboshawa, but failed to prove the source of his

It is also alleged that investigations by Zimra revealed that between January 2010 and December 2015, Kadungure did not declare income amounting to over $9 million from sales realised out of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and $1 191 713 being the value of the properties.

As a result, an income tax of $2 134 549 and $306 866 were raised in terms of Section 6 of the Income Tax Act, which he was supposed to pay to Zimra.

The State claimed that during the same period, Kadungure imported gas from South Africa and Zambia. He allegedly smuggled 5 298 000 kilogrammes of the commodity valued
at $672 533.

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