Zimra boss taken to court over $1.5m debt

Gershem Pasi, the commissioner general at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA)

By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
14 July 2014

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority commissioner general, Gershem Pasi, has been dragged to court over $1.5 million which he borrowed from a local bank to finance his diamond cutting company.

A Daily News report said Interfin Banking Corporation has approached the High Court demanding its money from Pasi and his Gemgrade Mining Company. However Pasi and his company have opposed the court application claiming that the bank defaulted in its obligations.

Pasi and his company are arguing that they were given a leeway to borrow as much as $5 million but only got $1.5 million because Interfin was placed under curatorship. According to court papers the money was used to purchase equipment and to set up the company but Interfin failed ‘to provide additional working capital required for production purposes.’

In his affidavit the general manager said the firm began operations in March 2011only for government to suspend the operations of all industry players in June, meaning the firm could not do any business.

When the firm reopened in May 2012, Interfin started experiencing problems which led to its being placed under curatorship that June. This effectively meant the diamond cutting firm could not fully draw on the loan facility it had secured, the general manager claims.

The lawsuit against Pasi comes after Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya recently told Parliament that the Zimra boss was earning a ‘corrupt salary’ of over

$300,000 a month. Zimra itself has hounded many firms over unpaid taxes and has riled many people as it is currently running a controversial fundraising programme alongside the traffic police, which involves forcing travelers and motorists to pay spot fines in the country’s highways.

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