Mugabe granted Grace VAT exemptions on goods Valued at $26.2 million


Tax expert Sydwell Nsingo said there were protocols for all tax issues, none of which had anything to do with the office of the president.

“For any tax matters, one should apply to the commissioner-general of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. Depending on the matter, he will then liaise with the finance ministry or in some cases he will communicate with the relevant line ministries,” he said.

However, in Grace’s case, the applications for exemptions were approved in directives from the President’s office to ZIMRA.

Colls Ndlovu, an economist formerly with the Reserve Bank of SA, said: “There’s a list of goods that are exempt from VAT and normally they are listed in the minister of finance’s budget statement. Others can be added through statutory instruments.

“That list makes it clear, and so there’s no need to apply for exemption otherwise it will amount to favouritism.”

None of the goods for which Grace applied for exemption were on the VAT free list, said Ndlovu.

Analysts said the VAT exemptions were just the latest example of abuse of power by the ruling elite.

“Zimbabwe has institutionalised corruption to an extent that it is becoming normal,” said political commentator Nigel Nyamutumbu.

“It is unfortunate that for all these years Mugabe was president, critical decisions such as tax exemptions were not subjected to due process but were a bedroom affair.”

Nyamutumbu said the same could be said of the case in which Marry Chiwenga, wife of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, is accused of illegally sending US$1m  ($20 million) to South Africa and China.

“Citizens fail to get their hard-earned foreign currency while those in the corridors of power not only have easy access but they abuse funds that do not even belong to them,” he said.

“This thuggish daylight robbery is actually the root of the problem bedevilling the country.”

Grace Mugabe’s office did not respond to numerous requests for comment.- Sunday Times

ED: it has since been pointed out that the Blue Roof belongs to ZANU-PF but President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he will transfer it to Grace.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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