Home » General » D-Day for Kuwaza, SPB

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has given the State Procurement Board up to today to pay about $790 000 in PAYE arrears for its board chairperson, Mr Charles Kuwaza.

In a letter seen by The Herald dated May 21, 2015, Zimra official Mr Shelton Chigumira said the SPB was expected to settle the debt or at least come up with a payment plan.

“Reference is made to your outstanding PAYE bill of $788 365,23 and a letter from the Commissioner Domestic Taxes Mr TG Chiradza dated April 17, 2015.

“In the letter mentioned above, the State Procurement Board (SPB) was requested to provide a proposal on how the outstanding tax would be settled. It is now over a month since the request was made and Zimra is yet to receive any payment in full or the requested payment plan.

“Please submit your payment plan as expressed in the letter from the Commissioner Domestic Taxes or payment in full of $788 365,23 by Saturday, May 30, 2015,” said Mr Chigumira. SPB has not been remitting PAYE on Mr Kuwaza’s earnings since 2009 while all the other employees of the SPB have had their earnings taxed and the PAYE sent to Zimra.

The Herald last year published Mr Kuwaza’s mega perks, excluding salary, which gobbled about $210 000 in 2014 alone.

Zimra has been demanding that Mr Kuwaza settle his tax arrears, but his reluctance led to the garnishing of the SPB account with an outstanding bill of $1 million.

However, there was about $230 000 in Zimra’s two accounts, funds which were taken by Zimra.

When the account was garnished, SPB employees said Mr Kuwaza was reluctant to pay tax since dollarisation, claiming that his contract was signed by the President.

Insiders yesterday said the garnishee order was suspended after a meeting between the SPB and Zimra.

“In the meeting, Mr Kuwaza managed to divert the issue of his personal tax obligations to make it an SPB obligation,” said a source.

“It was then agreed that the garnishee order be suspended in lieu of a payment plan from Kuwaza. The funds that were garnished were collected by Zimra. ”

Another source added: “After the audit of the executive perks initiated by the Office of the President and Cabinet last year, after the Cuthbert Dube saga, it was established that Kuwaza’s benefits were not being taxed and resulted in the tax arrears that attracted penalties and interest to the tune of $1,2 million.

“Kuwaza has not been paying tax to the tune of $4 500 per month using Zimra calculations on benefits such as company house, car, fuel, groceries, entertainment, repairs to the company house that was in excess of $200 000.

“Until someone undertakes an audit, Kuwaza is hiding under the corporate tax veil of the SPB on his personal tax obligations. The issue is compounded by the fact that he is the executive chairman and no one from the secretariat can question him.”

Another insider added: “The only authorities are Zimra, the auditor-general and the Chief Secretary who can institute independent investigations.

“The matter is serious because the SPB’s operations will be crippled if the accounts are garnished once again. It is likely to be the first time that staff will demonstrate appropriately against this massive abuse of power by the head of SPB.”

Source : The Herald