FORMER Director of State Residences Douglas Tapfuma has appeared before Harare magistrate answering to three counts of criminal abuse of office after allegedly importing a fleet of vehicles without paying duty.
Tapfuma was arrested yesterday on allegations of abusing his office to import his personal vehicles duty free.
It is the State’s case that on the first count, on 10 April 2018, the accused bought his two personal Toyota Hiace mini buses and on 17 April that year, the accused assigned Bonani Ganyane, an officer in the Transport section to Beitbrigde to facilitate clearance of his vehicles.
He also applied for duty free certificates for his two vehicles purporting them to be government vehicles.
More so, on the second count, Tapfuma is being said to have bought another batch of three personal vehicles a Toyota Altezza, Honda Accord and a Nissan Tida from South Africa in June 2018 using the same modus operandi.
In that same month, the accused then assigned Cousin Gwanyanya to proceed to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority , ZIMRA, Beitbridge to clear the vehicles on behalf of the State Residence as if they were government vehicles.
It is said that Gwanyanya was given a letter directed to the ZIMRA regional manager which had an official department of the State Residence letterhead to clear the said vehicles as if they were government vehicles.
The former State house boss then went on to register his vehicles at Central Vehicle Registry under the name of the President’s department prejudicing government of US$4 340.00.
On the third count, the former State house boss is alleged to have purchased two personal Honda Fit vehicles again prejudicing the state of US$4 416.00 which he was supposed to pay as duty.
Tapfuma was last year reassigned as Principal Director Monitoring and Evaluation in the Office of the President and Cabinet.
He becomes the second high profile government figure to be arrested by the newly-constituted Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) after Minister of Tourism, Environment and Hospitality Industry Prisca Mupfumira who was arrested on Thursday last week.