Ex-Zimra boss Pasi slapped with $217k lawsuit

By Daniel Nemukuyu

Former Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Commissioner-General Mr Gershem Pasi has been slapped with a $217 000 lawsuit for unjust enrichment and poor administration that financially prejudiced the taxman.

Suspended Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Commissioner-General Mr Gershem Pasi
Former Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Commissioner-General Mr Gershem Pasi

Mr Pasi resigned from his position on May 17 last year when pressure mounted ahead of a disciplinary hearing on allegations ranging from mismanagement, gross negligence and abuse of office among others.

During his tenure, Zimra argues, Mr Pasi unjustly enriched himself with $12 445 through fraud and abuse of office in violation of his contract of employment.

The authority is claiming $205 178, excluding interest plus cost of the suit, as damages for financial prejudice caused by Mr Pasi’s grossly negligent and reckless management of Zimra during his tenure as the Commissioner-General.

Kantor & Immerman Legal Practitioners issued out summons on behalf of Zimra. Mr Pasi, according to the plaintiff’s declaration, was employed by Zimra as Commissioner-General from November 1, 2011 until May last year when he resigned.

It is believed that a forensic audit carried out on 2016 revealed that Mr Pasi unjustly enriched himself through fraud and abuse of office.

“Between July 1, 2014 and June 2015, the defendant wrongfully and unlawfully caused the plaintiff to incur running costs in respect of fuelling, servicing and insurance in the sum of $8 509,25 for his Toyota Hilux and Toyota Corolla after he had purchased the said vehicles from the plaintiff.

“As a result, the plaintiff was prejudiced of the sum of $8 509,25, which is due and payable by the defendant,” reads the declaration.

When Mr Pasi travelled to the United States of America in June 2014, he received an accommodation allowance at the rate of $279 per night.

He, however, failed to produce receipts for the accommodation expenses in violation of Zimra’s policy.

“However, on return, the defendant produced invoices for five nights out of 12 nights that were supposed to be accounted for.

“He therefore failed to acquit seven nights for which he had been paid travel and subsistence allowance approved by the ministry,” reads the declaration.

To that end, Zimra was prejudiced of $483.

In 2010, Mr Pasi allegedly made a double claim of travel and subsistence allowance when he travelled to Kenya.

He received $1 372,50 instead of $631.

Mr Pasi is alleged to have claimed a refund of $2 080 as airport transfer costs when he travelled to Seychelles for a holiday.

The costs, according to Zimra, were already catered for by the ‘spending money’ provided for under his contract of employment, hence, the authority was prejudiced of $2080.

During employment, Mr Pasi allegedly conducted himself in an unlawful, negligent and reckless manner, prejudicing Zimra of $205 178.

He authorised payment of thousands of dollars to undeserving employees to the prejudice of the employer.

At some point, he employed two human resources directors at the same level, contrary to a board resolution. The Chronicle