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Whistle-blower claims US$300k from Zimra for character assassination

by Staff reporter
02 Aug 2019 at 08:05hrs | Views
A WHISTLE-BLOWER, who allegedly assisted the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to recover over US$600 million from tax defaulters, has petitioned the High Court seeking US$300 000 compensation, accusing the tax collector of assassinating his character in a bid to avoid paying him his dues.

The whistle-blower, whose identity has been withheld for his personal security, recently issued summons against Zimra, its acting commissioner-revenue assurance and special projects, Constance Shumbayaonda and Zimra's commissioner-general, Faith Mazanhi.

His claim is for damages arising from "the malicious and unfounded allegations and defamatory statements" made by Shumbayaonda during the course of her employment with Zimra.

The whistle-blower said Shumbayaonda made a statement to the Zimra board that he is of a violent disposition and had insulted Zimra employees under her supervision, adding he had caused total disruption of their work schedules and disturbed the tranquillity prevailing at Zimra's offices.

"During the course of her employment with the third defendant (Zimra), the first defendant (Shumbayaonda) had unlawfully and maliciously made malicious and unfounded allegations and defamatory statements against the plaintiff to the effect that the plaintiff was of a violent disposition and disruptive behaviour whose conduct had totally disrupted the operations and tranquillity prevailing at the third defendant (Zimra) office," the whistle-blower said in his declaration.

"The report by the first defendant to the board of the third defendant was motivated by malice, was unlawful, unjustified and was defamatory of the plaintiff. The allegations raised by the first defendant were made without any justification and was reckless and meant to tarnish the plaintiff's personal integrity and character and the creditworthy of the information which plaintiff had provided to the third defendant."

In his affidavit, the whistle-blower said as a result of the information which he provided to Zimra, the latter was able to assess tax bills against the reported companies which were in excess of US$600 million and to recover more than US$200 million.

"The third defendant has greatly benefited from the useful information provided by the informant and continues to do so up to this day."

The whistle-blower said after Zimra dithered on its contractual obligation to properly assess the tax liabilities of the reported companies, this adversely affected the monetary rewards due and payable to him.

However, when he wrote and visited the offices in a bid to protect his interest, he was then accused of being violent and disrupting the operations of the organisation.

Source - newsday