As new details emerge on the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra)’s whistle-blowing scandal involving multimillions cumulatively, which The NewsHawks has been writing about for months now, latest information has shed light on the tax collector’s top executives who are part of a dodgy network run by their biggest informant Evans Kujinga.
The network is minting millions for personal benefit.
Fresh details obtained this week through further investigation show Kujinga runs a network of high-profile operators who include tax experts and investigators working with him on many tax evasion cases – more than 300 files so far – while sharing proceeds of the dubious trade.
Zimra acting chairperson Josephine Matambo is part of Kujinga’s network. Kujinga is also said to have had high-profile links under the leadership of different Zimra commissioner-generals from the time of Gershem Pasi to Rameck Masaire, the current acting commissioner-general.
Sources say Kujinga is close to all of them – Pasi, Willia Bonyongwe, Happias Kuzvinzwa (now late) and Rameck Masaire (also acting), except Faith Mazani who preceded Masaire.
The sources say Kujinga is particularly connected to Matambo, the current acting Zimra board chairperson. She was previously deputy chairperson under Callisto Jokonya’s board.
Jokonya was not part of the network. Matambo, whose other name is Tsitsi, is a tax partner at PKF Chartered Accountants (Zimbabwe), situated at Takura House, a stone’s throw away from the Zimra headquarters at ZB Building, located at the corner of Kwame Nkrumah Avenue and First Street in Harare.
The sources said she used to do tax work for Kujinga before joining Zimra.
When she was appointed to Zimra, the conflict of interest became real. In fact, Matambo and Kujinga spoke about the issue when she was appointed Zimra deputy board chair in January 2019.
“A few days before the board was appointed on 4 January 2019, Kujinga visited Matambo at her home in Braeside suburb in Harare. They spoke about various issues, including their work relationship and cases they were dealing with,” a senior Zimra official told The NewsHawks.
“One of the issues that arose was how they were going to relate to each given that Matambo had been appointed deputy board chairperson, when they had been working together on tax consultancy issues and Zimra cases for sometime. They were trying to find ways of navigating the known conflict of interest that had arisen.”
Matambo has more than 37 years of tax experience which spans various sectors in Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique; with 13 of these years at Zimra. She is an independent non-executive director at True Destinations Investments (Pvt) Ltd.
Part of Kujinga’s network was exposed in a Zimra audit on whistle-blowers which the The NewsHawks has reported on of late.
Kujinga was not only connected at the top. He also had foot soldiers at Zimra. An internal audit done in 2016 on Zimra whistle-blowing issues by Moja Mutizira exposed part of the network.
“Internal audit interviewed the officers involved as follows: Munashe Bozhiwa – he said he knew Kujinga since 2014 as a tax consultant who frequently visited Zimra offices and also agreed that he had been receiving some monies from him both as physical cash and through EcoCash over a long period of time,” the audit said.
“Evelyn Musorah — she worked in debt management section. She said she had known Kujinga since 2007, and was a family friend. She joined Zimra in 2014 and met Kujinga at Kurima House where he said he was doing some
tax consultancy work (with Matambo). Since then they have been discussing various tax issues. They exchanged
various amounts of money over the period through EcoCash, cash and bank transfers.
“Brian Gombera — Since 2012 he was deployed at the debt management section. His duties included monitoring client accounts and advising them to update their records accordingly. He knew Evans Kujinga since 2004. He met him later at Kurima House in his capacity as a tax consultant and would assist him but could not remember the names of the clients he represented. As a friend they would borrow and lend various amounts of money to each other.
“Simbarashe Katiyo – He got to know Kujinga since 2007. After joining Zimra in 2011 he met Evans Kujinga sometime in 2014 and assisted him as a tax consultant who would ask almost everything about Zimra, customs and taxation such as how to apply for a tax clearance, how to propose a payment plan, garnish orders, tax amnesty, and upliftment among other things. He did not verify whether Kujinga was a registered tax consultant or not and could not remember the specific clients Kujinga represented, but was very inquisitive about how things were done Zimra executives beholden to whistleblower Evans Kujinga in the debt management section. He also received monies from him through EcoCash and cash.”
Sources say Kujinga has become so powerful within the network that he is able to get Zimra bosses to fire those who do not cooperate with him.
Trumped up charges are always found to justify removing undesirable elements.
Mutizira and Charles Jaure, Zimra commissioner revenue assurance and special projects, were removed amid corruption allegations.
“The real story is that they were forced out by Kujinga using Zimra bosses. If one doesn’t cooperate with, they find something to justify their removal,” a source said.
“Right now he is targeting some Zimra staff members he suspects of leaking information to The NewsHawks.”
Kujinga has over 300 whistle-blowing cases to his name and is owed millions of dollars in outstanding rewards.
“The reason he has so many cases is because he is working with Zimra officials, corporates and civil servants. There is woman called Ms Kujinga in the ministry of Finance; they are related and she has helped him a lot, especially with reports from the auditor-general’s office. It’s like insider-trading the whole scandal. His whistle-blowing cases involve tax evasion matters from almost every sector of the economy, including parastatals. That is why he is so critical to Zimra and powerful within its networks. He has helped them recover a lot of unpaid taxes and made millions, but the problem is that the whole process is generally corrupt.”
Under the whistle-blower facility, Zimra is supposed to reward legitimate informants on cases relating to tax evasion under Section 34B of the Revenue Authority Act (Chapter 23:11) as read with Statutory Instrument 150 of 2020.
Statutory Instrument 150 of 2020, gazetted on 26 June 2020, regulates the payment of rewards to informants upon whistleblowing and the recovery of revenue.
The reward is 10% of the amount recovered on the basis of information supplied. However, Zimra officials are manipulating and corrupting the system for money.
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