Econet dogged by US$300 million tax evasion & externalisation allegations, dismisses case as false

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
Zimbabwean telecoms, subscribers

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe – the country’s largest mobile network operator, and some ZIMRA bosses are alleged to have connived in the evasion of taxes and externalising of cash between 2009 and 2013.

An article published in the Sunday Mail highlights these allegations and points to a forensic audit report compiled by HLB Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants signed off in October 2016. The report is sad to have stated how Econet allegedly imported dutiable goods without paying taxes.

It’s alleged that this is after Econet took advantage of a tax exemption on base stations and brought in other equipment and declared this as duty-free under the same exemption.

The report also alleges that Econet would overstate prices of components it was buying from Econet Capital – its sister company based in Mauritius.

ZIMRA executives, including the suspended Commissioner-General Mr Gershom Pasi, Mrs Florence Jambwa (director of legal and corporate services), Mr Tichawona Chiradza (commissioner, investigations and international affairs), and Mrs Anna Mutombodzi (commissioner customs and excise) have been cited in the same audit report with recommendations for action to be taken against them.

Case still before the courts as Econet fights for fair play

This isn’t the first time that Econet has dealt with this tax scandal. It was first brought to the public’s attention in 2014 after the case’s whistleblower Mr Edward Mutambanadzo took issue with the fact that the information he provided hadn’t been acted upon and that he hadn’t been paid the 10% commission for exposing the scandal.

At the time Econet dismissed the allegations as false and also highlighted complications with the way imported base station equipment had been classified by ZIMRA.

Econet has also dismissed the allegations this time around, stating how the matter had already been brought before the High Court after ZIMRA had sought to garnish US$67,9 million from its accounts.

Part of this figure, which was a US$47 million penalty imposed by ZIMRA had been set aside by the court. Since Econet had imported base stations in the same way that other operators did it has objected to retrospective duty on its own base stations citing how other operators aren’t subjected to the same conditions.

Techzim has sought further clarification from the operator and is yet to get any comment.


  1. MMM

    this government is pathetic, is econet the only company in Zimbabwe, everyday u just want to take money from them. The more u persecute masiyiwa the more blessings he gets from the almighty.

  2. IK

    this story has Supa Mandiwanzira all over it and a gvt hell band on making life difficult for Econet, I do not know how much more they have to pay. we still havent go answers as to why the other two gvt mobile networks did not increase their charges when directive had been given. was the directive intended for Econet only

    we unfortunately have a very incompetent and political minister of ICT
    Minister of ICT

    1. Macd Chip

      timu yakabaiwa bhururu bondi noti harisi kubatika zvekumhanya yeti bhavhadheyi remukuru rwaswebera! Kozotiwo sarudza yoswedera mari hapana.
      Inzwira panyama tzvimbo yarova dapi chaiyo

  3. Macd Chip

    It looks like the corrupt people walks freely in Zim and now are not ashamed to advertise their activities. How is this Econet’s problem?

    Edward Mutambanadzo was employed by Econet to do the clearing, how he cleared the equipment is non of Econet’s business. He is the one who received the goods and falsified the documentation.

    He had someone inside Zimra helping him to do this because every high valued goods are inspected by Zimra to make sure that correct amount is paid. I once refused to pay my clearing agent for greasing money and he inturn refused to clear my car, he just received it and handed me the paperwork saying he was busy in Bulawayo that day. But l met him all day at the border with loads of paperwork clearing for other people who agreed his scam.

    Zimra even re-evaluated my car, at one point their printers broke down and line to Harare went down when they were about to print my cert. I offered to help since l know one or 2 things about computers and it magically came back. Next time l went to collect my other car they were just laughing and l did not spent the whole day there(Plumtree)

    This is a marriage of convenience, Edward Mutambanadzo who is trying to cover his corruption by turning a whistleblower and government(Mandiwanzira) desperate to nail Econet.

    If Econet were to be at border receiving and falsifying papers, then they didnt need Edward to duplicate the same job again, what for?

  4. Pasi neEconet

    Make them pay Comrade Supa, make them pay!! vajaidzwa vanhu ivava veEconet, gore rino vanochiona!!

  5. follow

    ask for money politely

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