Zimra loses 61 potential vehicles due to currency fluctuations – The Zimbabwe Mail

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) finds itself at the center of a financial fiasco, missing out on 61 vehicles that were ordered and paid for in Zimbabwean dollars.

According to ZimLive, the debacle stemmed from a combination of delayed foreign currency disbursement by the central bank and volatile currency movements, resulting in significant erosion of the value of the payment.

Officials from Toyota dealer Mike Harris announced to lawmakers on Monday that out of 70 vehicles paid for by Zimra, they could only supply 9 Corolla vehicles due to the depreciation of the Zimbabwean dollar, equivalent to $3.9 million paid by the tax collector. This erosion of value only left enough money for 24 vehicles.

According to the Auditor General, Zimra suffered a loss of ZWL$209 million (US$1.7 million at the official rate) after paying for 35 Toyota Hilux double-cab cars and 50 Toyota Corolla vehicles that were never received. Despite payment being made in February 2022, only 15 Toyota Hilux vehicles were delivered and none of the Toyota Corolla vehicles had been received by December 2022.

Last year, Zimra’s attempt to cancel a tender for the supply of 85 vehicles worth more than $3.9 million was rejected by the High Court Commercial Division. The court dismissed the appeal citing a lack of evidence to prove that Mike Harris deliberately failed to deliver the remaining 70 vehicles despite full payment.

Zimra had paid for the vehicles in Zimbabwean dollars, while Mike Harris would receive the necessary currency through the RBZ auction system for import. However, the dealer cited delays in foreign currency allocation and exchange rate fluctuations as major obstacles.

Mike Harris CEO Brian Kaukonde informed Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee that the dealer was only able to supply 9 Toyota Corolla vehicles out of 50 and none of the remaining 20 Toyota Hilux vehicles to Zimra despite receiving payment for 85 cars.

Kaukonde attributed the inability to deliver all 85 cars to exchange rate fluctuations and inflation, highlighting the instability of interbank interest rates during the contract period. He stressed that the fluctuating economic conditions had serious consequences for their ability to fulfill the agreement within the stipulated deadlines.