HARARE – Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officers in the company of police officers recently stormed the home of businessman Genius Kadungure and impounded a recently-imported Bentley Continental GT.
Kadungure, a wealth-flaunting socialite with interests in gas and petroleum, made the disclosure in an urgent court application seeking to get back the vehicle, whose customs duty authorities said was undervalued.
Kadungure cited the Zimra Commissioner General and finance minister Mthuli Ncube as respondents in his application.
He said the officers who came to his Domboshava home on January 11 this year were officers from the Vehicle Theft Squad (VTS).
Kadungure said the officers informed him that they had instructions to seize the vehicle as it had not paid the requisite customs duty and Value Added Tax (VAT).
“In the interim, I seek an interdict prohibiting the first respondent (Zimra) and her officers from seizing or embargoing my vehicle on the basis that the duty paid was insufficient without first seeking an order from this court to that effect,” Kadungure said in his founding affidavit.
Kadungure also said he is seeking an order declaring that section 192 of the Customs and Excise Act is unconstitutional since it is being used by Zimra to infringe his rights as provided in section 68 and 71 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Kadungure said he is further challenging the constitutionality of Section 196 of the same Act that prohibits any civil proceedings to be taken against Zimra without giving six months’ notice in terms of the State Liabilities Act.
He says in his court filing that he purchased the vehicle from LSM Distributors, a South African company, and took delivery of it on or around January 5, 2019, through his courier and clearing agents.
He submitted paperwork showing that the vehicle cost him R1.9 million (about US$132,000). The court filing open to journalists did not carry details about the duty charged.
“Having purchased the vehicle and paid for it in full, I caused it to be imported into Zimbabwe through the Beitbridge border post. I attach relevant documents from the cargo carrier and from South African authorities pertaining to the clearing and movement of the vehicle… as the vehicle had been in a South African bonded warehouse, it had to be cleared by the South African authorities…
“At the border, I appeared personally and filled in Form No 52A which is a customs duty declaration form… I declared that the vehicle ought to be assessed duty on its purchase price. The customs officers responsible inspected the vehicle and they assessed duty in terms of that figure and an invoice for customs duty and VAT was issued.”
He said he was surprised when he was visited by the Zimra officials and police who indicated that they wanted to impound the vehicle.
The matter is set to be heard on Friday this week.