By-Ex-Deputy Minister of Finance Terrence Mukupe, has been given a three-year prison sentence for orchestrating a fraudulent scheme involving illicitly importing over 130,000 litres of diesel without paying the required duty.
Mukupe’s illicit activities came to light in 2017 when the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) intercepted trucks linked to the former minister, revealing they were purportedly transporting diesel but were, in fact, loaded with water.
The scheme, aimed at evading duty payments, has now led to Mukupe’s imprisonment, with an effective sentence of three years, of which six months are suspended contingent on good behaviour.
In addition to his time behind bars, Mukupe has been ordered to make restitution of US$12,000.
The conviction follows an extensive legal process in which Mukupe and three associates were found guilty of smuggling fuel across Forbes Border Post in January 2017.
By falsely declaring their tankers’ destination as the Democratic Republic of Congo, they sought to avoid paying duty amounting to approximately US$55,600. ZIMRA officials intercepted the quartet at Chirundu Border Post.
During the court proceedings, ZIMRA presented a Victim Impact Statement outlining the financial harm inflicted on the state by Mukupe’s actions.
This latest legal episode adds to Mukupe’s troubled history, which includes a previous arrest in April 2018.
On that occasion, he was fined for assaulting the Finance Director of his ministry, Ignatius Mvere, allegedly in response to a perceived inadequacy in a travel allowance of $910.