ZIMRA Confiscates 80 000 Cellphones Destined For Zambia
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) seized more than 80 000 Tecno mobile phones worth US$352 930 from a Zambian telecommunications company.
According to a NewsDay report, the matter eventually spilled into the High Court of Zimbabwe after the Zambian firm, Rock Telecom Limited, failed to recover its 81 540 mobile phones from ZIMRA.
However, the High Court dismissed the Zambian company’s application after hearing submissions from both parties.
Rock Telecom had sought an order declaring that ZIMRA’s forfeiture of its Tecno mobile phones was grossly irregular.
The firm argued that ZIMRA failed to take into account the fact that there was no proven violation of the Customs and Excise Act.
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It further argued that ZIMRA’s forfeiture of its mobile phones was grossly harsh, excessive and unfair.
The Zambian company said ZIMRA could have imposed a penalty which is provided for in the statutes rather than seizing the phones.
High Court judge, Justice David Mangota, dismissed the application noting that its arguments lacked merit. He said:
It follows from a reading of the above-analysed matters that the applicant’s last ground of review is devoid of merit. It is dismissed as well.
The applicant, it is evident, failed to prove its case on a balance of probabilities. The application is, as a result, dismissed with costs.
According to court papers, Rock Telcom claimed it imported 96 820 Tecno mobile phones from China to be delivered to Zambia in October 2022.
Rock Telcom engaged a transporter, Allied Customs Freight, who lodged a manifest and its clearing agent registered a bill of entry.
After ZIMRA officials conducted a physical examination of the goods, they discovered that the clearing agent had under-declared the phones in the consignment.
ZIMRA then seized the phones after discovering that 81 540 mobile phones worth US$352 930 were not declared.
Rock Telcom then wrote to ZIMRA advising that its agent had under-declared the goods despite being provided with all the paperwork.
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