Hearing for suspended Zimra boss deferred to Thursday

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The disciplinary hearing into the conduct of suspended Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Commissioner ­General Gershem Pasi, who is facing more than 40 counts of misconduct, has been deferred to Thursday this week

Retired judge Justice Moses Chinhengo, who is presiding over the hearing, postponed the matter to allow lawyers of both parties to agree on the guidelines to follow in the proceedings. Sources said the postponement was at the behest of the lawyers involved in the disciplinary hearing. “The lawyers want to agree on the guidelines to be adopted in the hearing of the matter. The postponement was inevitable,” said the sources without giving the finer details.

Commissioner ­General Gershem Pasi Mr Alex Mambosasa and Mr Tazorora Musarurwa of Mambosasa Legal Practitioners are representing suspended Comm­Gen Pasi, while Mr Addington Chinake and Mr Simplicio Bhebe both of Kantor and Immerman, are prosecuting on behalf of Zimra. The hearing opened on Tuesday after the High Court on Monday dismissed Comm­Gen Pasi’s urgent application to block the disciplinary hearing.Justice Lavender Makoni ruled that the disciplinary hearing should proceed because the process was above board.

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Comm­Gen Pasi was suspended seven months ago. He is facing in excess of 40 counts of misconduct including vehicle importation scams and other charges dating back to 2009. Zimra chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe, is the complainant in the case. The charges include signing a $14 million contract with a company called AVIC International for the supply of uniforms and tollgate equipment without following tender procedures. He also stands accused of failure to investigate the alleged fraudulent importation of vehicles by Zimra executives, authorising his daughter to use the authority’s vehicle and approving salary increments without the board’s blessings.

Comm­Gen Pasi will also answer to the allegations of allocating himself excessive vehicle allowances to an extent of getting $374 451 between 2014 and May 2016. He is also accused of allocating himself excessive holiday allowances and drew $205 000 from the authority between 2014 and May 2016. He also allegedly received “unexplained” allowances to the tune of $121 926 in a year. In March this year, the revenue collector sent CommGen Pasi and five other managers on forced leave over an alleged vehicle importation scam

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