The former Zinara boss who was sprung from a police station by former VP Mphoko has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Moses Juma, who was Zinara acting chief executive was facing criminal abuse of office charges. Juma was first arrested in 2016 but was released from police custody at the instigation of  Mphoko.

Magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya sentenced Juma to 30 months behind bars before suspending six months on condition of good behaviour.

The court heard that sometime in 2014, Zinara had a tax obligation with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority of $15 418 133,61 and as a result Zimra garnished $5 714 587,25 on the firm’s account, leaving a balance of $9 703 546,36.

A report was made to the Zinara board by management for guidance to reduce the tax obligations. The Zinara board tasked the finance committee to engage a tax consultancy firm to help reduce the obligations.

Three firms, Misfot Tax Consultancy, Excel Tax Consultancy and Central Source Management Consultancy trading as Tax Management Services, were chosen to make presentations.

On September 23, 2014, the firms made presentations and Tax Management Services was recommended.

Juma, in his capacity as acting accounting officer at that time, went on to engage Tax Management Services without following proper tender procedures and Zinara was charged $17 250 for tax health checks.

The offence came to light during an inquiry by the Auditor General’s Office which discovered that there was no contract between Zinara and Tax Management Services.