By Mary Taruvinga
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has been dragged to court by a Somali national whose truck was seized on allegations of having been used to smuggle goods into the country.
The complainant is Mahomed A Ahmed who is based in South Africa claims he initially lost his truck horse to thieves who used it for unlawful activities.
In a court application filed with the High Court, Ahmed said it was not fair for Zimra to keep his truck considering that he submitted evidence showing that he had made a report of his truck missing with authorities in South Africa.
He also said local police had cleared his vehicle but Zimra is still holding on to his vehicle.
“I came and visited the police who after carrying out their investigations were satisfied that the motor vehicle was not linked to any crime and advised me to discuss with Zimra,” said Ahmed.
He further submitted that he visited Zimra offices and declared that he was the owner of the truck and his ownership could not be disputed.
“In any event to date no other person has claimed ownership of the same truck,” he said.
The horse registration is DX49KXGP.
According to court papers, on November 30, 2018, Zimra seized vehicle on suspicion that it was used to commit transit fraud.
Zimra says the truck was used to pull a trailer with goods which had evaded payment of customs duty and related charges.
At that time, Ahmed had filed a police report indicating his vehicle was missing in South Africa only to locate it in Zimbabwe.
“Our client has fully cooperated by reporting the theft of his horse to the South African police. It is because of the information he supplied that the location of the vehicle which allegedly smuggled goods was established in Zimbabwe until it disappeared from the radar,” court papers show.
He said it is not his fault that swift action was not taken to seize the vehicle while it was stationery at a location in Waterfalls for ten days.
“Had the police acted with due promptness the actual violators of customs law would have been brought to book,” he said in his letter to Zimra after visiting the ZRP for clearance.
“It is clear from the communication that there is no reasonable and justifiable basis for the respondent to continue to hold on to the motor vehicle.
“What appears to be clear from the responses by the respondent is that it is now safeguarding the interests of a third party which is the agent from whom goods were removed,” he said.
Ahmed says he has lost business since the time the truck was impounded by the respondent and continues to lose it each day the respondent holds on to the truck.
He said it is not fair to hold on to his truck considering that even the person who was driving the vehicle was never prosecuted.
Zimra is yet to respond.