- Former President Emmerson Mnangagwa top aide says circumventing tax authorities through close proximity to the president’s office is a way of life in Zanu PF
YOUTH Deputy Minister Tino Machakaire has been accused of prejudicing the State of thousands of dollars by using letters from the President’s Office to facilitate the importation of vehicles for his personal projects duty-free.
The allegations were made by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s former aide and State House principal director, Douglas Tapfuma, during his trial last week at Harare Magistrates’ Court.
Tapfuma is currently facing charges of criminal abuse office and using his position to buy cars for friends circumventing tax authorities.
However, during trial last week, Tapfuma told the court that a click of businessmen linked to Zanu PF allegedly imported dozens of cars duty free under the pretext that they were meant for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office.
“Everyone in government and Zanu-PF has been doing it,” Tapfuma said.
“I wrote a letter to Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Ray Ndhlukula requesting him for duty free exemption letter and the request was granted through the letter he signed. If there were any doubts of my requests, he would have declined, but due to the fact that everyone was doing it, I see no problems with that.”
He added that some of the cars imported by the businessmen were allegedly donated to Zanu PF while others were sold, implicating Machakaire
“It is a system that has been in existence for long to import personal vehicles through the Office of the President and Cabinet under the vehicles duty-free facility. TinMac Company (a logistics company,owned by Machakaire) has done exactly what I am accused of and using the same documents that I used. Mupereri also used the same documents. These kinds of transactions have been in existence for a long time,” Tapfuma said.
“…When I assisted Mupereri, I wanted him to be seen as doing a wonderful thing by donating ambulances to his constituency and win a seat for the Zanu-PF party, which would be a good gesture to my principal, the President, Emmerson Mnangagwa,” Tapfuma continued.
The matter was remanded to March 26.