Former Deputy Minister of Finance, Terrence Mukupe, has been sentenced to an effective three years in prison for fraudulently importing over 130,000 litres of diesel without paying duty. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) discovered the scheme in 2017 when they intercepted trucks owned by Mukupe and found that they were transporting water instead of diesel. Mukupe was initially sentenced to three and a half years, but six months were suspended on the condition of good behaviour. In addition to the prison sentence, Mukupe has been ordered to pay US$12,000 in restitution.
Mukupe’s conviction and sentencing come after a prolonged legal process. He and his three accomplices were found guilty of smuggling fuel across Forbes Border Post in January 2017. They had misrepresented the destination of their tankers as the Democratic Republic of Congo to evade payment of duty amounting to approximately US$55,600. The quartet was intercepted by ZIMRA officials at Chirundu Border Post.
During the court proceedings, ZIMRA presented a Victim Impact Statement to highlight the financial harm suffered by the state. The sentencing of Mukupe.
This is not the first legal trouble Mukupe has faced. In April 2018, he was arrested and fined for assaulting the then 58-year-old Finance Director of his ministry, Ignatius Mvere, for allegedly giving him a “paltry $910 travel allowance”.