A local businessman has approached the High Court contesting the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra)’s threats to attach his two vehicles for which he paid excise duty last year.

Zimra said it intended to recalculate the duty using a different exchange rate and impose a penalty.

In his founding affidavit, Mr Percival Mubaiwa said the manner in which Zimra sought to seize his cars was in contravention of the Revenue Act and the Customs and Excise Act.

Mubaiwa cited Zimra and its Commissioner-General Ms Faith Mazanhi as the first and second respondents, respectively.

He said on April 18 last year, he bought a Toyota Hilux in South Africa which he cleared at Beitbridge Border Post through Zimbabwe Customs.

Mr Mubaiwa said he was given a manual bill of entry since the rate of exchange was not yet active in the system.

He paid the prescribed duty and obtained his vehicle registration book using the customs clearance certificate.

In December 2019, he bought a Toyota Fortuner through a similar process.

Problems arose after Mr Mubaiwa received a phone call on January 20 this year from Zimra officers informing him that his two vehicles had been listed among vehicles that had pending registration issues.

An officer in charge of loss control at Zimra’s Kurima House offices told Mr Mubaiwa that there were mistakes regarding customs clearance and he had to take the vehicles back or they would be seized.

“They told me that they had to rework the duty using the current rates of exchange, as well as impose a penalty of 100 percent,” he said.

“The motor vehicles they were talking about had standing hire agreements. One had a lease until June by Grafax Cotton Company in Gokwe. The other one is currently hired for humanitarian work in Chimanimani by USAID until October this year.

“This is a proper case for the court to exercise its discretion in that there is a violation of my rights and threats of more violation. I, therefore, submit that I have a good and sufficient cause for requiring the order.”

The case now awaits hearing.

-Thre Herald

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