25 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Missing U.S $7 Million Road Blocks Cash, ZRP Furious

POLICE on Wednesday hit out at Zimbabwe Revenue Authority boss, Gershem Pasi, calling him "ignorant" and "arrogant" after the tax collection chief said up to $7 million raised monthly from motorists at the ZRP's numerous roadblocks could not be accounted for.

Addressing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Economic Development on Monday, Pasi, who is under pressure to scrounge for every penny due to the taxman as the State struggles to pay civil servants, said money collected by some government departments could not be traced.

He fingered the police among the culprits.

"For instance, an example which comes to mind readily, we all know the roadblocks that we have," Pasi told the legislators.

"Sometimes we hear figures of US$3 million, US$7 million, being collected per month from those roadblocks. That is the amount which finally gets to be accounted for, not talking about what goes into the policemen's pockets.

"And then at the end of the month, we have an issue with Treasury; they want money for salaries for the same people who are collecting (it at roadblocks) ... but we don't get a schedule of how all those monies which are being collected elsewhere are being accounted for."

The ZRP was not impressed and reacted angrily to the allegations.

Pasi was peddling falsehoods in a bid to spark public anger against the police, ZRP national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said in a statement Wednesday.

"The utterance is a big falsehood which is intended to whip public emotions against police in pursuance of an obvious agenda," said Charamba.

"Gershem Pasi is ignorant that the accounts are also tabled before Parliament and all the money collected by the police under the retention scheme is subject to external and internal audit by relevant authorities in Government just like anybody else."

Charamba accused Pasi of trying to use the police to cover up for failing to do his job.

"Gershem Pasi is given a task by government which he is failing to perform, hence this blame to cushion his failure."

Not quite done, she added: "He (Mr Pasi) is on record of having exceeded collection targets well beyond those given to him by Government and why is he mourning now?

"We advise Gershem Pasi to use the same methods he has been using to collect beyond the set targets."

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