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Zimra officer under fire over unexplained wealth

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By Mary Taruvinga

A Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officer Desberia Mutara is in trouble with authorities after she allegedly acquired wealth using state funds.

Prosecutor General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi is now after her and has approached the High Court seeking a civil forfeiture of her wealth.

The PG alleged she tried to conceal some of the property she has acquired in order to evade allegations she is facing.

According to Tapiwa Kasema, a principal Law Officer in the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) who deposed an affidavit on behalf of Hodzi, Mutara also tried to sell her upmarket house in Waterfalls upon realising that forfeiture was imminent.

“I carefully read case file compiled by the Zimra in which Mutara was investigated in an exercise rooted in Zimra’s anti-corruption policy which seeks to ensure that its employees’ lifestyles must correspond as far as possible with the legitimate income they are entitled to,” said Kasema.

Kasema said Mutara was employed by Zimra in October 2014 as a Revenue Trainee and is currently based at Beitbridge Border Post.

He said Mutara only declared a stand valued at US$16 000 and a car valued at US$10 000 yet she had acquired more assets.

Investigations allegedly established that Mutara, besides acquiring a stand, managed to build a house valued at US$75 000.

She also purportedly acquired two Toyota Corolla vehicles valued at US$8 000 yet her cumulative earnings from October 1 2014 to February 2019 was US$58 936.

Among other things, Mutara is accused of having locked out city council officials who went to calculate the value of her assets.

“She refused to give an explanation accounting for the source of the funds she used to acquire her wealth,” said Kasema.

Zimra has a policy which commences at the inception of the contract entered into between it and its employees.

The terms include asset declaration and regular lifestyle audits to ensure that whatever is acquired by Zimra employees reflects transparency to legitimate sources.

Mutara’s case is yet to be heard.