ZIMBABWE Revenue Authority(Zimra) commissioner-general Ger-shem Pasi has denied claims circulating in the tax agency that he fraudulently purchased an upm
arket property in Glen Lorne.
Property market sources say Pasi bought the property at a hugely discounted price, allegedly prejudicing the state of millions of dollars in transfer duty and tax.
But the country’s chief taxman in an interview this week said he bought the property in March for $68,75 million after protracted negotiations.
Estate agents have put the market value of the property in the region of $200 million.
Pasi said the purchase was above board.
“This is not the first time that there have been enquiries about the house,” said Pasi.
“It had been on the market for a long time and there were no takers.
Everything was done above board and the documentation is there,” he said.
The sale of the property was handled by estate agents Pam Golding and the deal was concluded in March. This was confirmed by records at the Deeds Office, which also show that Pasi has a house in Belvedere.
On the seemingly low purchase price, Pasi said prices of houses were not controlled, thus sellers charged what they wanted. He said he managed to negotiate a discounted price because the property required extensive renovation especially in plumbing and electricity supply.
When the Zimbabwe Independent visited the double-storey property located in a quiet cul-de-sac in the hills of Glen Lorne recently, there appeared to be construction work taking place. The plaster-under-tile house sits on a 2,2-hectare garden sheltered by indigenous msasa trees.
Anonymous sources said to be calling from within Zimra have claimed Pasi was living beyond his means as he had purchased upmarket houses and acquired a pool of cars. But he strongly denied any claims of ill-gotten wealth.
“I have a large investments portfolio built over the years which I retire occasionally to raise money for capital projects,” he said. “I did not start working yesterday. I have tried as much as possible to keep a low profile because of security threats on me and my family, because of the nature of my work,” he said.
“I do not have a pool of cars. I have my official car here on which I pay tax and another I purchased through the car purchase scheme,” he said.
Pasi said the only other house, which he said he built using his own and mortgage resources over a long period, was in Belvedere.