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Tapfuma says he is facing trumped-up charges

by Staff reporter
17 Jan 2020 at 06:14hrs | Views
Former State House director Douglas Tapfuma, who is facing criminal abuse of office and corruption charges involving irregular importation of cars, yesterday said the charges against him were fabricated by those who wanted to see his downfall.

Tapfuma's lawyer Jonathan Samukange told magistrate Estere Chivasa that his client was targeted by his enemies who perceived him as a threat to their positions since he was becoming powerful after the ushering in of the new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

"This is a case of office politics and the accused person was targeted by people who felt that he was becoming too powerful. No disciplinary hearing has been held against him at work and he has not been dismissed. He never made any false declaration or misrepresentation at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra)," Samukange said.

Bonani Ganyane, an officer in the transport section in the Department of State Residences, who facilitated the clearance of the motor vehicles at Beitbridge, led evidence for the State.
It is alleged that on April 17, 2018, Tapfuma assigned Ganyane to go to Beitbridge to facilitate clearance of his two personal vehicles using report order forms as if they were government vehicles.

It is the State's case that clearance of goods by report order form is a procedure that is normally used by government departments to apply for deferred clearance of goods from Zimra.
After clearing the vehicles, Tapfuma allegedly instructed Ganyane to hand them to Vongaishe Mupereri, who at that time was Mbizo legislator.

The court heard that on April 20, 2018, Tapfuma made an application to the Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, requesting for duty-free certificates in the name of the President's Department and they were issued.

Tapfuma allegedly applied for duty exemption for the vehicles at Zimra, which was granted.

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Source - newsday