Government clears Paza Buster Car Sales in illegal forex trading saga

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By Staff Reporter

GOVERNMENT has removed top vehicle procurement company, Paza Buster Car Sales from the list of companies blacklisted on allegations of illegal foreign currency trading last year.

Paza Buster Car Sales was blacklisted together with other 18 companies in November last year on allegations of channelling auction funds to the black market.

This followed investigations by RBZ’s Finance Intelligent Unit (FIU).

A letter from George Guvamatanga, Finance ministry permanent secretary, addressed to various government departments said the company and its subsidiary have been cleared.

The letter seen by reads, “Please be advised that Treasury has removed Paza Buster Car Sales and Best Car Rental from the black list published through a press statement by the minister of finance and Economic Development on November 9 2022, taking account of payment penalties to the financial intelligence unit and clearance by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).

“You should however note that with immediate effect up to a period of six months, these companies have been placed in the grey list wherein their vendor numbers are reopened and MDAs are allowed to transact with them whilst being under strict monitoring by the Financial Intelligence Unit and Zimra.

“Thereafter, with full compliance the companies will be removed from the grey list and operate normally”.

In a statement released last year, Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube alleged that upon receiving their payments, the companies engaged in spontaneous illegal foreign currency transactions buying forex from individuals and entities.

It was also noted that some of the companies would engage in transactions not related to their line of business.

Some would purchase fast moving goods from various manufacturers reselling exclusively in foreign currency. 

The latest development follows a challenge by the company through its lawyers Rubaya and Chatambudza which insisted that it never strayed in doing business with the central bank.

The company said: “Those alleged findings are not explained and there appears to be a clear failure to clearly spell out the legal basis and the legal power that you were exercising as the minister of finance and economic development in arriving at our ultimate decision.

“It is our client’s considered view that before deciding to place it on the black list, you, as an administrative authority, were supposed to give it an opportunity to make representations. That was not done.

It added, “With all due respect, Honourable minister, our client is of the considered view that it has a right to administrative conduct that is lawful, prompt, efficient, reasonable, proportionate, impartial and both substantively and procedurally fair.

“Our client takes the greatest exception that you purport to rely on the alleged findings from the FIU as well as purporting that our client was amongst those companies which were actively involved in foreign currency parallel market dealing as of the period after the 18th of August 2022 yet the FIU has confirmed that our client has not been active on parallel market”.