Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader Walter Magaya has been summoned by the police for allegedly evading $22 million tax, while Wicknell Chivayo appeared in court yesterday for allegedly bribing a Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) official with $10 000.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is accusing Magaya of under-declaring his earnings.
The move by the police to summon Magaya follows a lifestyle audit done on him and his church dealings, after suspicion that he had been under-declaring his earnings.
Police spokesperson Commission Charity Charamba yesterday confirmed police were looking for Magaya.
“He has been summoned for an interview,” she said. “Police are eager to interview him on allegations of tax evasion.”
Comm Charamba declined to give finer details of the case.
Zimra Commissioner-General Ms Faith Mazani’s assistant, Mr John Chakasikwa, confirmed that they were after Magaya over the tax issue.
He said the matter was being handled by the Criminal Investigations Division (Commercials Crime Division).
“We are working with the police and the National Prosecuting Authority on the matter,” said Chakasikwa. “At this point, the NPA has the information you require.”
Zimra recently issued a garnish order against Magaya’s church accounts held with a local bank and wants the self-styled prophet to settle the arrears.
This followed the tax collector’s raid at Magaya’s church at least twice last year, in a bid to audit his earnings and other business interests that include a hotel owned by the church, a tile manufacturing factory and a farming concern.
Zimra has been seeking clarity on how high-rollers fund their lifestyles and whether or not they were paying what they should in taxes.
Zimra wants Magaya to explain what type of business he is into, properties he owns and how much tax he is paying.
Magaya has been under public eye for funding national soccer teams, with Zimra inquisitive about the source of the funds and if he was tax compliant.
Apart from funding football, Zimra wants to know the source of funds for Magaya’s gestures.
In the case of Chivayo, he appeared in court yesterday on allegations of offering former Zimbabwe Power Company’s (ZPC) board chairperson Stanley Kazhanje the $10 000 bribe for facilitating the awarding of the Gwanda solar project to his company.
Chivayo was cited as the second accused in the State papers, while his company was cited as the first accused.
He appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa facing the bribery charges.
The court ordered Chivayo to continue abiding by the bail conditions imposed on him when he appeared in court on another charge of fraud relating to the solar power deal.
He paid $2 000 bail that was accompanied by stringent conditions.
Kazhanje is already on remand facing a similar charge.
Law officer Mr Michael Reza alleged that sometime in 2013, ZPC called for bids for the construction of the Gwanda Solar Project and Chivayo responded through his company Intratek (Pvt) Ltd.
The court heard that on October 22, 2015, the ZPC board held a meeting that was chaired by Kazhanje.
It is alleged that Kazhanje directed that ZPC should proceed to sign the deal with Intratrek and the contract was signed on October 23, 2015 even though the company had not provided a bank guarantee.
On January 21, 2016, Chivayo and his company allegedly transferred $10 000 into Kazhanje’s personal bank account upon knowing that he had influence on the cancellation of the contract for non-compliance.
After the payment, Kazhanje was alleged to have influenced the ZPC board to pass resolutions in favour of Chivayo and his company even though they had breached the same contract.
Chivhayo and his company were being represented by Advocates Lewis Uriri and Sylvester Hashiti.