By Mary Taruvinga
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has been dragged to court by a local businessman after the tax collector demanded double payment of duty from him.
Percival Mubaiwa is seeking an order declaring ZIMRA’s actions illegal since he had already paid duty for his two vehicles in question last year.
He said one of the vehicles was being used for humanitarian purposes in Chimanimani and another one by a cotton company in Gokwe and the seizure of the cars would have a huge inconvenience for his businesses.
Cited as respondents are; ZIMRA and the authority’s Commissioner General Faith Mazanhi.
In his argument, Mubaiwa said the manner in which ZIMRA wants to seize the cars was in contravention of the Revenue Act and the Customs and Excise Act.
“They told me that they have to rework the duty using the current rates of exchange as well as a penalty of hundred percent,” said Mubaiwa.
“The motor vehicles they were talking about had standing hire agreements. One had a lease until June by Grafax Cotton Company in Gokwe. The other one is currently hired for humanitarian work in Chimanimani by USAID until October this year.
“This is a proper case for the court to exercise its discretion in that there is a violation of my rights and threats of more violation. I therefore submit that I have a good and sufficient cause for requiring the order.”
Mubaiwa said on April 18 last year.
He had purchased a Toyota Hilux from South Africa which he cleared at the Beitbridge border post.
Mubaiwa was given a manual bill of entry since the rate of exchange was not yet active in ZIMRA’s system.
He paid for the duty and got his vehicle registry book. In December 2018, he bought a Toyota Fortuner and used a similar process.
However, problems arose after Mubaiwa received a phone call on January 20 from ZIMRA officers that his two vehicles had been listed among vehicles that had pending registration issues.
An officer in charge of the loss Control at Kurima House told Mubaiwa that there were some mistakes regarding customs clearance and he should bring the cars back or risk them seized by the tax authority.
The case is still pending.