Home » Industry » Zimra Boss Denies Accepting Dodgy Doctorate

ZIMBABWE Revenue Authority (Zimra) boss, Gershem Pasi has moved to dispel embarrassing claims he was among 10 “philanthropic” locals who fell for a fake honorary doctorate degree by the shadowy International Institute of Philanthropy (IIP) last month.

Music legend Oliver Mtukudzi and Ruth Makandiwa, wife to charismatic United International Family Church founder Emmanuel Makandiwa, were among those who were conferred with the controversial degree.

But, as it later turned out, it was a monumental ruse.

The “award” was tailored for “most influential” Zimbabweans who have made some “contribution to humanity”.

Having been cited as among those who were duped, Pasi went beyond himself in efforts to try and distance himself from the mock recognition.

The Zimra boss ordered his subordinates to place newspaper aertorials, headlined SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT, where he vehemently denied accepting the award.

“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) wishes to set the record straight in response to inaccurate media reports and speculation that its Commissioner General, Mr Gershem T. Pasi received an ‘honorary doctorate degree’,” reads the statement, which the tax collector posted in all the major newspapers and locals radio stations.

“The correct position is that, contrary to such reports, Mr Pasi DID NOT accept the ‘honorary degree’. He even formally and unequivocally informed the Philanthropy Institute of Zimbabwe of his position and reasons for NOT ACCEPTING the ‘honorary’ degree.”

The Zimra boss said he was much at ease with being referred to as a “Mr” as opposed to bogus title.

The statement further reads: “As a result, neither, Mr Pasi nor any member of his family or Zimra attended the ‘degree conferment’ or ‘graduation’ event held in Harare recently.

“ZIMRA would therefore, like to reiterate that its Commissioner General is still known as Mr. G.T. Pasi because HE DID NOT accept the ‘doctorate degree’ as inferred in some quarters of the media.”

Some of the people honoured alongside Mtukudzi were Isabel Chihuri, wife to Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, former Zimbabwe National Roads Administration chief executive officer Frank Chitukutuku, Avenues Clinic managing director Merissa Kambani and Pastor Ruth Musarurwa of Christ Embassy.

Moonlight Funeral Assurance and Services Company chief executive Chomi Makina and an Avondale Primary School headmistress were also cited as outstanding philanthropists.

However, enquiries by the local daily, Newsday on the credentials of the Harare based institute revealed glaring inconsistencies about the organisation, chief among them, their June 17, 2014 registration date.

This in essence meant Tuku and crew were honoured by an institution which is hardly a month old.

It has also been discovered the institute did not have any alumni and had no traceable history in its purported philanthropic works.

Enrico Sibanda, chief facilitator of the controversial institution failed to convince when asked about his organization.

Sibanda reportedly refused with his contact details when they were requested even though claiming his organisation was formed in 2000 and obtained affiliate status last year.

He said the institute used its own standards and systems to identify local luminaries in humanitarian work but declined to spell out the selection criteria.

Further, he admitted his organisation was never affiliated to any local university under the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry “since it was not offering educational qualifications”.

“We are not answerable to any university or educational institution,” Sibanda said.

“We are not politicians, but we are philanthropists. We are not answerable to anyone. As long as we feel as an organisation we are doing something good, we will continue to honour outstanding personalities in the field of humanitarian work.

“We are not planning to please everyone. Even Jesus Christ was rejected by His own tribesmen. We are not seeking praise, but we are doing our mandate that we think is right.”

He however, could not produce his institution’s registration certificate.

Source : New Zimbabwe