Home » Industry » Mega Perks for Tender Boss . . . Raked in U.S $210 000 in Allowances Last Year . . . Zimra Wants Its Pound of Flesh

State Procurement Board chairperson Mr Charles Kuwaza took home about US$147 000 in house repairs and maintenance allowances last year alone, with his total benefits gobbling nearly US$210 000, excluding salary.

The house and repairs allowance is enough to buy a house in medium-density suburbs like Mabelreign and Avondale in Harare.

It is also understood that Mr Kuwaza is embroiled in a wrangle with Zimra over alleged tax evasion.

The tax collector has this year upped the ante in bringing tax dodgers to book following the unravelling of the “salarygate” scandal where top executives gave themselves huge untaxed allowances.

Sources told The Herald that the tax collector is demanding that Mr Kuwaza pays tax for all the benefits that accrued to him.

Since 2009, Mr Kuwaza — by virtue of being executive chairperson of the SPB — was entitled to allowances for domestic workers, house repairs and maintenance, telephones, security, entertainment, electricity and water.

He was also entitled to fumigation, Internet and fuel allowances as well as board fees.

Documents seen by The Herald indicate that he got housing repairs and maintenance since 2009, when he was entitled to about US$14 000 per year.

The figure came down to about US$6 000 in 2010, before going up to US$21 000 in 2011.

The allowance came down to about US$17 000 in 2012, but shot to around US$147 000 last year, as he got a monthly average of about US$12 000 for that purpose.

Mr Kuwaza’s total yearly allowances for 2009 were about US$30 000, came down to about US$25 000 in 2010, before rising to about US$60 000 in 2011.

In 2012, he got about US$67 000, before receiving up to US$210 000 in allowances last year alone.

In 2013, Mr Kuwaza got about US$11 000 in fuel allowances, US$18 000 for security, about US$6 500 for electricity and water, and US$5 500 for entertainment.

He also got US$5 200 for domestic workers, about US$2 500 for Internet, US$2 500 for telephones and US$1 500 for fumigation.

Mr Kuwaza was also paid about US$10 000 in board fees that year.

Since the inception of the multi-currency regime in 2009, Mr Kuwaza took home nearly US$400 000 in various allowances.

Contacted for comment, Mr Kuwaza said: “As you should be aware, tax matters are confidential in terms of the Income Tax Act.”

Zimra has been visiting State enterprises and parastatals to assess levels of tax compliance following the explosion of “salarygate”.

The drive aims to establish whether or not salaries and other perks paid to top executives were being properly taxed.

Zimra Commissioner-General Mr Gershem Pasi last month told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs that audits revealed that records were being doctored to hide information from the tax collector.

As a result, Zimra has been seizing documents and garnishing accounts where it has been established that taxes were not paid.

Some of the firms whose accounts have been garnished include Premier Services Medical Aid Society and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.

Source : The Herald