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Supreme Court reserves judgement in Mukupe's appeal

by Staff reporter
08 Mar 2024 at 07:06hrs | Views
The Supreme Court has postponed its judgment indefinitely in the appeal filed by former deputy Finance minister Terrence Mukupe against a High Court decision rejecting his appeal against conviction and sentencing.

Mukupe, along with Same Kapisoriso, Ngonidzaishe Mutsvene, and Joseph Taderera, was collectively convicted and is serving a three-year prison term for violating section 174 (1) (e) of the Customs and Excise Act since November of the previous year.

Following the dismissal of their appeal by the High Court earlier this year, the quartet approached the Supreme Court, where their appeal was heard by a three-panel bench comprising Justices Hlekani Mwayera, Felistus Chatukuta, and Nicholas Mathonsi.

Witness Mabahudhi, representing the state, urged the court to reject the quartet's appeal, arguing that their conviction was grounded in facts related to importation fraud and Customs Act violations.

Their defense lawyer, Lewis Uriri, countered, stating that the state failed to substantiate its case, and the lower courts overlooked his clients' defense.

Mukupe and his associates were convicted of smuggling 138,979 liters of diesel into Zimbabwe in January 2017. Prosecutors demonstrated that they conspired to unlawfully import diesel without paying duty by misrepresenting that it was destined for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, they replaced the diesel with water in Zimbabwe.

The scheme was uncovered on January 30, 2017, when Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officials intercepted the four tankers at Chirundu Border Post using electronic cargo tracking systems. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the tanks contained water instead of diesel.

This action, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), resulted in a loss of revenue amounting to US$55,591.60 for the state.

Source - newzimbabwe
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