EMERGING fast foods chain Chicken Slice faces the prospect of a garnishee order from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) over US$3 million in tax arrears.
Zimra sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that the company’s directors are panicking over moves by Zimra to garnish the company over the debt and the company’s director Tawanda Mutyebere is said to be liaising with a top politician in the Zanu PF party to help ward off the threat.
The revelations are against the background of other claims by some company employees that they are yet to be paid their salaries for the months of February and March.
The source said Mutyebere is disputing the actual amount owed to the taxman, contending that it is no more than US$800 000.
However, Mutyebere denied any knowledge of the tax arrears or any plans to garnish his company in an interview last week.
“All I know is that Zimra is just auditing all companies and that is not peculiar to Chicken Slice,” said Mutyebere.
“They (Zimra) came to our offices in November and they have not come back ever since. I do not know why you would be saying we owe anything when Zimra has never written to us about the issue.I have been called by various (media) organisations about the issue, but I can tell you there is no truth in those claims.”
Mutyebere also denied approaching the senior politician saying he does not even know her personally.
“I am a businessman not a politician and I do not know her at all. I am just a businessman who is employing a lot of people. We should not be fighting people who are trying to develop this country.”
Zimra refused to comment on the matter saying it is “precluded by the Revenue Authority Act (Chapter 23:11) from providing specific information concerning its clients to a third party”.
“I am, therefore, unable to comment or provide the requested information because it is protected by the secrecy provisions of the Revenue Authority Act. I hope you will find this response useful in the compilation of your article,” wrote Florence Jambwa, the authority’s director legal and corporate services in an e-mailed response to questions from this paper.