Ishemunyoro Chingwere, Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner, revenue assurance and special projects, Charles Jaure, who has been in the eye of a storm over alleged corruption, has resigned from the revenue collector.
Mr Jaure was suspended by Zimra in September last year after being implicated in a bribery case in which he allegedly sought a bribe from a whistleblower who had unearthed irregular financial dealings at NetOne.
In an internal correspondence, a copy of which our Harare Bureau is in possession of, Zimra Commissioner General Faith Mazani advised that Mr Jaure had left the authority “with immediate effect” and his reasons for leaving were personal.
“I write to advise that Mr Charles Jaure, Commissioner Revenue Assurance and Special Projects has resigned from the authority with immediate effect,” Ms Mazani wrote in the Commissioner General’s circular number 5 of 2019 dated 8 February.
“He has resigned for personal reasons and the Authority wishes to thank him for the services rendered,” she advised.
Mr Jaure ran into trouble with the tax collector, which upped its anti-corruption ante after the coming into power of the new administration, as a way to weed out corrupt individuals as well as grow tax earnings.
Government, through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), is also targeting the eradication of corruption as a key economic enabler and one of the key targeted areas is tax evasion and avoidance practices.
A report which led to his initial suspension last year noted that Mr Jaure had, in 2017, allegedly solicited for from the whistleblower to facilitate payment of the whistleblower’s dues after unearthing tax fraud at NetOne.
The whistleblower, however, declined Mr Jaure’s alleged demands which then resulted in him being paid just $73 000 instead of the $1,8 million, which he had hoped to get for unearthing the scandal.
In his statement to Zimra in his quest for redress, the whistleblower said; “I refused to accede to his demand for a bribe or any form or any undue consideration and this was the beginning of my problems with Mr Jaure.
“However, in a concerted effort to avoid confrontation I requested Mr Jaure to recuse himself from all my cases as he was conflicted, but he vehemently refused,” reads the statement by the whistleblower.
Speaking in September after the suspension of Mr Jaure, Ms Mazani said Zimra had instituted an investigation into the alleged misconduct as well as committing to assist the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission(Zacc) in its investigation of Mr Jaure.
“Zimra is doing its own investigations on the matter. Meanwhile, the official in question has been asked to proceed on leave of absence to allow investigations to be carried out. Zimra will give Zacc any support they require as they carry out investigations into the matter,” she said then.