CONVICTED former principal director of State residences in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Douglas Tapfuma has been sentenced to four years in prison, Zim Morning Post can report.
The former President Emmerson Mnangagwa ally was on Thursday found guilty and convicted for wantonly evading tax after importation of eight personal cars.
The crime was committed one year after Mnangagwa took over from the late former president Robert Mugabe.
Presiding magistrate Esthere Chivasa convicted him on three counts of criminal abuse of office as a public officer after he used a code on the bill of entry reserved for goods imported by the OPC.
Vehicles in question include Toyota Hiace, Toyota Altezza, BMW 318i, two Honda Fit and a Nissan Tiida.
In her ruling, Chivasa submitted that Tapfuma’s actions were well-calculated with full knowledge that he reported direct to his principal and was not subject to scrutiny (though not immune).
She further stated that Tapfuma lied in his defence claiming that his actions were above board and sanctioned by an existing policy that allowed him to import personal cars.
This lie was exposed by OPC director Ray Ndhlukula during his testimony in court.
Ndhlukula has served in the same capacity for both Mnangagwa and Mugabe administrations giving him vast knowledge of the policies in the OPC.
Tapfuma was represented by Jonathan Samkange.