Bopela owner points gun at Zimra offical


BOPELA Group of Companies owner, Agrippa Masiyakurima, allegedly pointed a gun at a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority official after a misunderstanding over his South African-registered motor vehicle at Plumtree Border Post.

The controversial businessman allegedly wanted to take the vehicle to Botswana for repairs without proper documents sometime last week.


Acting Matabeleland police spokesperson Sergeant Thabani Mkwananzi confirmed the incident but would not give details.

He said he was yet to get full details of the incident from police in Plumtree.

Sources close to investigations yesterday said Masiyakurima’s sleek Mercedes Benz was recently involved in an accident and he wanted to take it to Botswana for repairs but did not have proper documents for the vehicle.

“The vehicle’s insurance is in Botswana and after being involved in an accident, Masiyakurima decided to take it to the neighbouring country but it had no proper documentation,” a police source said yesterday.

It is alleged he was confronted by Zimra officials which resulted in a misunderstanding.

Masiyakurima, who is not new to controversy, is alleged to have pulled out a firearm and pointed it at one of the officials, threatening them.

A report was made to the police and investigations are in progress.

On his Facebook page last week, Masiyakurima attacked Central Intelligence Organisation Deputy Director General Aaron Daniel Tonde Nhepera over the vehicle incident.

He wrote: “Hands off my car Deputy Director General Nhepera. How does the whole CIO organisation at Plumtree Border search my car since 7AM? It’s 10 o’clock now thez (there’s) nothing, unless you’re going to plant something in my car. Chiiko varume vakuru? (What is it guys)”

Later Masiyakurima posted again on his Facebook page, “Hanzi tiri kutsvaga cash yamuri kuendesa kuBotswana. (They say they’re looking for cash which I’m taking to Botswana). I did not refuse to be searched but the process shouldn’t have lasted until 1400 hours. 7 hours????”

When contacted for comment yesterday, Masiyakurima said: ‘‘I don’t want to hear about your issues over there, leave me alone.”

This is not the first time that Masiyakurima has allegedly pulled out a firearm following a misunderstanding.

In January, the South African-based Zimbabwean businessman was briefly arrested in Harare after he allegedly fired shots into the air following an altercation near the country’s military headquarters – KGVI Barracks.

The incident occurred on January 10 along Borrowdale Road near Air Force Headquarters after a misunderstanding between Masiyakurima and municipal police.

Masiyakurima runs a civil engineering firm, Bopela Group of Companies, which provides back-up services to a number of telecommunication companies.

Recently, there were reports that Bopela Group of Companies, which is under forensic audit at NetOne, was allegedly overpaid by $500,000 for the installation of base stations.

There are indications the company opened another bank account to evade Zimra, after the tax collector garnished about $360,000 in tax arrears.

The NetOne board recently identified Bopela Group of companies as one of the “suppliers of interest” they wanted audited under the guidance of the Auditor-General’s Office following revelations that management had swindled the parastatal of millions of dollars through suspicious procurement.

The board said the company was contracted to supply and install base stations without going to tender.

Insiders said despite being paid in advance, Bopela failed to meet all the conditions of the contract.


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