Pasi Zimra prej­u­diced of $12m, court told

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Anesu Madiye Her­ald Re­porter

FOR­MER Zim­babwe Rev­enue Author­ity (Zimra) Com­mis­sioner -Gen­eral Ger­shem Takavada Pasi was on Thurs­day taken be­fore the court on charges of crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice af­ter he al­legedly en­gaged a third party in the acquisition of an In­for­ma­tion Man­age­ment Sys­tem (IMS), prej­u­dic­ing Zimra of close to $12 mil­lion.

Pasi (59) had pre­vi­ously sought author­ity from the State Pro­cure­ment Board to have direct en­gage­ment and it was granted.

The in­volve­ment of the third party led to the in­flat­ing of prices of this (IMS) from $11 819 000 to $32 649 939. He ap­peared be­fore chief mag­is­trate Mr Mishrod Gu­va­mombe who re­manded him out of cus­tody on $2 000 bail.

Pasi was or­dered to surrender ti­tle deeds val­ued at $150 000 and the mat­ter was re­manded to November 22.

He was also or­dered to surrender his pass­port to the clerk of court, re­port twice a week at Bor­row­dale Po­lice Sta­tion, con­tinue re­sid­ing at the given ad­dress and not to in­ter­fere with wit­nesses.

Pros­e­cut­ing, Mrs Veneranda Mun­y­oro had pro­posed that Pasi de­posits $5 000 bail and pro­vide surety in the sum of $200 000.

Through his lawyers — Messrs Farai Mushoriwa and In­no­cent Chin­garanda — Pasi ar­gued that he was un­em­ployed and that his daugh­ter who was not iden­ti­fied in court will de­posit the bail.

Al­le­ga­tions are that in Jan­uary 2014, Chief Sec­re­tary to the Pres­i­dent and Cabi­net Dr Misheck Sibanda led a high-pow­ered min­is­te­rial del­e­ga­tion of se­nior Govern­ment of­fi­cials to China.

The pur­pose of the visit was to af­firm in­put ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies do­main in im­ple­ment­ing pri­ori­tised e-govern­ment pro­jects. Pasi was part of the del­e­ga­tion as they wanted to im­ple­ment e-tax­a­tion at Zimra.

Dur­ing the visit, var­i­ous Govern­ment de­part­ments had an op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with In­spur per­son­nel who demon­strated th­ese ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

An ac­tion plan for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the agreed pro­gramme was also signed and Pasi be­gan his en­gage­ment with In­spur Zim­babwe for the In­for­ma­tion Man­age­ment Sys­tems (IMS) de­sign and de­vel­op­ment.

Pasi formed a com­mit­tee at Zimra for de­sign­ing the sys­tem and draw­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the project to be supplied.

The ICT depart­ment be­ing headed by Tyiyapo Velempini was in­volved in de­sign­ing the sys­tem to­gether with engi­neers from In­spur Global.

In June 2014, Zimra and In­spur agreed on spec­i­fi­ca­tions and Pasi al­legedly failed to get quo­ta­tions from In­spur Zim­babwe. He in­stead took the sys­tem de­sign to Righ­lux Ser­vices, a com­pany dis­tribut­ing In­spur prod­ucts de­spite per­mis­sion for a direct en­gage­ment.

On July 1, 2014, Righ­lux Ser­vices supplied a $32 649 939.97 quo­ta­tion which it pur­ported to be from In­spur Group of China.

Pasi used the quo­ta­tion ob­tained from Righ­lux Ser­vices, and al­legedly wrote to the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cabi­net seek­ing author­ity to en­gage the State Pro­cure­ment Board (SPB) for a direct pur­chase from In­spur for the sup­ply, de­liv­ery and in­stal­la­tion of the IMS.

Act­ing on Pasi’s re­quest, the court heard that on Septem­ber 2 of the same year, the SPB ac­ceded to the direct en­gage­ment of In­spur Group of China for the sup­ply, de­liv­ery and in­stal­la­tion of hard­ware, equip­ment and soft­ware for the Tax Man­age­ment Sys­tem (e-tax­a­tion).

Af­ter the State Pro­cure­ment Board had given no ob­jec­tion for direct en­gage­ment, Pasi went on to sign a $32 649 939.97 con­tract with Righ­lux Ser­vices which re­flected that the com­pany was to sup­ply, de­liver, in­stall and com­mis­sion the e-tax­a­tion sys­tem at Zimra.

The con­tract was not a direct en­gage­ment with In­spur as duly au­tho­rised.

Through its par­ent com­pany Welkin Im­port and Ex­port, Righ­lux Ser­vices signed a $11 819 000 con­tract with In­spur Global for the sup­ply, de­liv­ery and in­stal­la­tion of hard­ware, equip­ment soft­ware e-tax­a­tion sys­tem which was ac­tu­ally de­signed by In­spur Zim­babwe and Zimra ICT per­son­nel.

In­spur di­rectly supplied the IMS sys­tem to Zimra, with a cost of $11 819 000-00, with Righ­lux Ser­vices act­ing as an in­ter­me­di­ary yet the work was done by per­son­nel within the coun­try.

Zimra paid $23 763 780.65 to Righ­lux Ser­vices in­stead of $11 819 000 it should have paid had Pasi di­rectly en­gaged the In­spur.

Ger­shem Takavada Pasi

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