Yesterday, the Supreme Court dismissed claims by ZIMRA that Econet owed the national revenue authority $100 million that they hid from them through tax evasions.
The dispute has been on-going for a number of years with a whistleblower claiming that Econet owed the taxman as much $300 million back in 2014. Edward Mutambanadzo- the whistleblower- who whipped up this storm also alleged that Econet overstated prices on imports from its Mauritius company among other illegal practices.
Econet Lawyer Nyambirai explained that the initial figures were brought down after a number of appeals by Econet:
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Zimra had garnished Econet’s bank accounts to the tune of $61 million in December 2013. There was a media frenzy with allegations that Econet had evaded duty and amounts of up to $300 million were mentioned. Rather than fight the allegations in the media, Econet applied to the High Court, which struck down $47 million of the amount claimed by Zimra.
Nyambirai seems to have made reference to Strive & Tsitsi Masiyiwa’s cyberbullying ordeal as he said the court victory was a win for all cyber-bullying victims:
The Supreme Court bench, led by the Chief Justice (Malaba), (ruled) in favour of Econet. I do not see this as a victory for Econet alone. It is a victory for all victims of cyber-bullying. Econet was tried and condemned in the social media! Any humble protestations of innocence were drowned in baseless abuse and condemnation where the basic principles of innocent until proved guilty were thrown out of the window.
Some of these attitudes are caused by the economic hardships that we continue to face as a nation. I can only wish for the speedy recovery of our economy and the restoration of values of integrity and respect for the rights of others,”
The allegations could have landed Edward with 10% of the value of the case which was estimated to be around $600 million – the initial figure he alleged Econet to be owing ZIMRA.