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ZIMRA officer in court for extorting US$1,900 from trucker

HARARE – A Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officer has been dragged to court accused of demanding and receiving US$1,900 bribe from a trucker whom he caught smuggling fuel.

Kespa Chabata, 57, appeared before Harare magistrate, Stanford Mambanje facing criminal abuse of office charges.

He was granted US$200 bail.

Allegations against Chabata arose on March 9 when he allegedly demanded US$3,000 so he could not confiscate a truck that was carrying wrong cargo.

Prosecutors told the court that Chabata extorted the money from a fuel tanker driver, one Given Alcapony Nhamo who was parked and resting at Zindoga truck stop in Waterfalls, Harare.

The court heard Chabata was on night duty and drove by the truck stop while on his way home.

He then spotted the truck, went over to Nhamo and asked to see the truck’s importation documentation.

“Upon inspection of the documents, the accused noted that the declaration documents indicated that the tanker was carrying Butanone.

“However, upon inquiry from the driver, what he was carrying was diesel and Chabata noted the anomaly.

“The accused then asked who was in charge and the driver indicated that one Lennon Chenga was the one in charge.

“The accused asked the driver to contact Chenga to come to the scene.

“The driver also informed one Kessie, the supervisor of Dinotic Energy in Sandton South Africa who had instructed him to transport the diesel to Zimbabwe.

“Contrary to his duties, the accused did not contact his ZIMRA office or notify his supervisors of the development.

“Rather, he went to extort US$3,000 from the driver and kept on holding on to the importation documents and indicated that Chenga should bring the money so that he does not confiscate the truck,” the court heard.

Kessie is said to have managed to scrounge around for US$1,900 which he sent and delivered to Chabata.

After receiving the money, Chabata reportedly gave back the truck’s documents, telling them the importation documents were fraudulent.

However, despite knowing of the offence, Chabata still did not confiscate the truck and instead allowed Nhamo to go.

The State is arguing that Chabata’s actions showed undue favour to the trucker as he should have placed the truck under seizure.



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