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State seeks to forfeit former Zimra employees’ property

The Prosecutor General, Kumbirai Hodzi has petitioned the High Court seeking an order to forfeit to the state property valued at US$762 000 from a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) former employed couple.
The couple, Tapfumanei Zunguza and Catherine Laji failed to explain the source of their wealth after they were ordered to do so by justice Tawanda Chitapi in April this year.
The property in question includes Stand 237 Helensvale Township Borrowdale Harare, Stands 3807 and 3808 Mainway Meadows Waterfalls Harare and Mazda BT50 Twin Cab with registration numbers ACT3233.
In a founding affidavit filed by Kelvin Mufute a principal law officer in the Asset Forfeiture Unit on behalf of Hodzi, the acquisition of the property by the couple raises suspicion of commission of the crime of money laundering and corruption.
“This application is made on the basis that the acquisition of property by the respondents (Tapfumanei Zunguza and Catherine Laji) raises suspicion of commission by them of the crime of money laundering and corruption. I say so for the following reasons, the respondent is a politically exposed person, there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the respondent is or has been involved in serious crime (whether in Zimbabwe or elsewhere) or a person connected with the respondent is or has been so involved.
“During the investigative stages of this matter, the applicant applied for and obtained an unexplained wealth order calling upon the respondents to explain the source of his property as identified in the court order.
“The police managed to serve on the respondents the Unexplained Wealth order that directed respondents to give a statement explaining the circumstances under which they acquired the mentioned property to the head Asset Forfeiture Unit, Zimbabwe Police Service, CID Commercial Crimes division as well as an interim freezing order in terms of section 37H of SI246 of 2018 prohibiting the respondents from in any way dealing with the property in question. In this case, the respondent’s legitimate income is way outweighed by the value of the property in question which amounts to US$762 000,” he said.
Circumstances into the matter are that the pair were employed by Zimra as revenue supervisor and revenue officer, respectively.
Sometime in 2009, the couple acquired residential stands number 3807 and 3808 in Mainway Meadows, Waterfalls, Harare.
During the same year, they bought another stand in Helensvale measuring 2 200 and construction commenced in 2011 and was completed in 2013.
It is also alleged that the couple bought a Mazda BT50 twin cab for $40 000, but as per requirement with their employer, they were supposed to declare the assets from time to time.
It is further alleged that during the time which the couple acquired the property, their lawful income amounted to $60 053,13 collectively.

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