Harare East Member of Parliament Terence Mukupe and three others appeared before a Karoi magistrate last week charged with fraud.
Mukupe’s appearance in court followed an incident in which Zimra officials at Chirundu One-Stop Border Post last month intercepted three tankers heading for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from Beira,Mozambique carrying water instead of diesel.
Mukupe (40) and his co-accused – Same Kapisoriso (32), Ngonidzashe Mutsvene (42) and Joseph Taderera (44) – were charged with fraud as defined in Section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) Chapter 9:23 or alternatively contravening Section 174(1) (e) of the Customs and Excise Act (False Declaration).
The four, represented by Advocate Brian Hungwe and lawyers Mr Selby Hwacha and Mr Sam Chitumwa, were remanded to March 6 on free bail for trial.
The State alleges that on January 26 this year, Kapisoriso, Mutsvene and Taderera entered the country through Forbes Border Post, driving tankers with diesel from Beira, Mozambique en-route to the DRC.
While in Zimbabwe the three truck drivers allegedly connived with Mukupe to empty the diesel and replace it with water.
Upon arrival at Chirundu Border Post on January 31 as they proceeded to the DRC, a physical examination on samples of the contents in the tankers was carried out, which later showed that the tankers contained water and not diesel. The prejudice caused to the State is valued at $41 692,80