Zimra boss loses house and car to state

A divorce settlement involving former Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) revenue officer Mr Kennedy Nyatoti has made him the first person to make history by losing assets under Zimbabwe’s civil-based asset forfeiture law when his US$150 000 mansion and US$10 000 car were forfeited to the State after he and his divorced wife failed to explain how they could afford the assets.Mr Nyatoti’s lawful income between October 2014 and May 2018 was US$44 907, and it was established that he neither had private income nor was he running a private business. So he failed to explain how he managed to build the US$150 000 mansion in Mabvazuva suburb in Harare and buy a Honda CRV valued at US$10 000.

Zimra’s lifestyle audit team discovered the mansion and car, after perusing the claims made during the divorce proceedings between Mr Nyatoti and his wife.Investigations established Mr Nyatoti never ran a legitimate business during the period in question, neither did he prove any payment of income tax regarding the funds needed to build the house.A court application was made for civil forfeiture in terms of the amended Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and the High Court ordered forfeiture of the mansion and the car.

Previously, the State could only apply for forfeiture after a conviction for a corruption-related offence.However, the new law now allows the State to apply for forfeiture under civil rules even without instituting criminal proceedings.

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