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Court postpones sentencing former Deputy Finance Minister Mukupe


Harare (New Ziana) –Former Deputy Finance and Economic Development Minister Terence Mukupe will know his fate on November 16 in the case in which he and three accomplices were on Thursday convicted of importing nearly 139 000 litres of diesel without paying duty.

Mukupe, Same Kapisoriso, Joseph Taderera and Leonard Mudzuto were on Thursday convicted in the High Court in Harare for unlawfully importing 138 979 litres of diesel on January 27, 2017 through Forbes Border Post in Mutare prejudicing the State of US$55 591,60.

Following submissions by their defence lawyer, Paidamwoyo Madondo in mitigation and state prosecutor Whisper Mabhaudhi in aggravation, Justice Benjamin Chikowero postponed sentencing to November 16.

Mukupe and his accomplices will remain in custody while they are awaiting sentencing.

In mitigation, Madondo asked the court to consider fining the quartet as first-time offenders.

He said they were bread winners for their families and were helping other children in their area with transport to and from school.

In aggravation, however, Mabhaudhi said if the court wished to show leniency, a fair sentence for the four would be a minimum of two years imprisonment coupled with a fine because the crime was pre-meditated and amounted to an act of economic sabotage.

“The effects of importation of products without paying duty are that they increase in transit fraud to the State and ZIMRA as an organization. ZIMRA has some specified targets which are issued by the State and it is obliged to meet such targets. Once there is transit fraud it means the organization will not be able to meet such targets,” said ZIMRA post-clearance audit supervisor Washington Tarima while giving evidence in aggravation.

Tarima said the actions of the four create a bad image and reputation on ZIMRA and the state as the country will be viewed as corrupt and unfit for investment due to the uneven economic ground for those intending to invest in the affected sectors.

The state proved that the quartet connived to unlawfully import diesel without paying duty by misrepresenting that the fuel was in transit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

They however offloaded the diesel inside the country and loaded the tankers with water.

The matter came to light on January 30, 2017 when ZIMRA officials intercepted the vehicles at Chirundu One Stop Border Post to verify the nature of their cargo.

New Ziana


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