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Mike Harris wins top-up case against ZIMRA for 61 Toyota Corolla vehicles paid for


Harare, (New Ziana)-The High Court upheld the argument by Car dealer Mike Harris that it will not deliver 61 out of 70 Toyota Corolla vehicles unless the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority tops up on the initial payment, since it got eroded by inflation.

This emerged on Monday when officials from Mike Hariss and ZIMRA appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts.

According to the Auditor General, ZIMRA suffered a $209 million (US$1,7 million) loss after buying 35 Toyota Hilux double-cab cars and 50 Toyota Corolla vehicles, which were never delivered.

While payment was made on February 24, 2022, only 15 Toyota Hilux vehicles were delivered and none of the Toyota Corolla vehicles had been received as of December 2022.

Late last year, ZIMRA lost a bid to cancel a tender for the supply of 85 vehicles worth more than US$3,9 million after the High Court Commercial Division threw out its appeal.

ZIMRA failed to prove that Mike Harris, who delivered 15 Toyota Hilux vehicles, had deliberately failed to supply the remaining 70, despite full payment.

Mike Harris alleged that delays in getting foreign currency allocations and fluctuations in the exchange rate meant that top-up payments would be required for the outstanding vehicles.

Although it had paid in local currency, ZIMRA wanted to cancel the contract and the refund to be calculated at the prevailing local currency equivalent of the foreign currency that the original payment would have bought.

Mike Harris chief executive officer Brian Kaukonde told the Committee that his company would only supply nine Toyota Corolla vehicles to ZIMRA despite it paying for eighty five cars.

“The amount which we received of ZWL$74 million was allocated to double cabs and 15 cabs were procured by the foreign currency which came from the central bank. The agreed position with Zimra is on nine Corollas to be delivered by the end of June (2024),” he told the MPs.

Kaukonde blamed exchange rate fluctuation for Mike Harris’ failure to deliver all 85 cars.

“If you look at the timelines and the aspect of inflation you will have a clear picture.

“Between the time we signed a contract and when payment came through, was a period of a year. You can appreciate that the interbank rate was not holding steady in one position,” he said.

New Ziana

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