Former Finance Deputy Minister Mukupe Convicted for Diesel Smuggling
Former Deputy Minister of Finance Terrence Mukupe, has been convicted for smuggling 138,979 litres of diesel without paying duty. Mukupe’s associates, Same Kapisoriso, Joseph Taderera, and Leonard Mudzuto, were also tried alongside him at the High Court.
Mukhupe’s Diesel Smuggling Scheme Unveiled
The State successfully demonstrated that on January 27, 2017, the quartet colluded to smuggle the diesel. He falsely claimed that it was destined for offloading in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The illicit shipment entered Zimbabwe through the Forbes Border Post in Mutare, only to be replaced with water.
Plot Unraveled by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority
Three days later, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials intercepted the group at Chirundu Border Post, verifying the goods. Consequently, all four were apprehended, spent the night in custody, and await sentencing. The State claims a revenue loss of at least US$55,591.
ZESA Clerk Faces Fraud Charges
In a separate legal matter, a former ZESA Holdings billing clerk, Joseph Magusiwa, appeared in court on allegations of defrauding the power utility of US$20,000 and $859,594. Magusiwa, from Kadoma, appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi and did not enter a plea.
Abuse of Refund System Uncovered
It is alleged that customers who purchased electricity tokens through prepaid platforms were required to have an electricity meter installed at their premises. These meters could be acquired by customers or were supplied by ZESA. When customers bought the meter, ZESA had a policy to refund the purchase cost by crediting the equivalent amount in electricity tokens to the customer’s account.
Manipulation and Unauthorized Refunds
The State alleges that Magusiwa and his accomplice, Darlington Chipatura, who served as the principal systems analyst responsible for electricity token generation, manipulated the system to issue unauthorized credit refunds to ineligible customers. Between January 2018 and March 2021, the duo allegedly received payments from customers, paid a reduced amount to ZESA, and pocketed the difference.
Internal Audit Reveals the Offense
The fraudulent activity came to light during an internal audit conducted by ZESA, exposing Magusiwa and Chipatura’s unauthorized refund scheme.
Mukupe’s recent conviction for illegally importing diesel without paying duty is not his first encounter with the law. In 2018, he faced allegations of unpaid fees for his children. This serves as a stark reminder that no one, regardless of their status, is exempt from the consequences of engaging in illegal activities.