HARARE – Former Finance deputy minister, Terrence Mukupe has been convicted together with three others for smuggling 138,979 litres of diesel into the country back in January 2017.
In a statement Wednesday, The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the controversial former Harare East legislator and one-time ally to late former President Robert Mugabe, has been taken into custody pending sentencing at the High Court this Thursday.
The State proved that on 27 January 2017 at Forbes Boarder Post in Mutare, Mukupe, Same Kapisoriso, Joseph Taderera and Leonard Mudzuto connived to unlawfully import diesel without paying duty.
The four misrepresented that the diesel was going to be offloaded in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Pursuant to their plan, they replaced the diesel with water in Zimbabwe.
The matter came to light on 30 January 2017 when officials from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) intercepted the four tankers at Chirundu Border Post after detecting a suspicious detour using its electronic cargo tracking system, and upon inspecting the trucks discovered that the trucks were now carrying water.
“In so doing, the accused persons prejudiced the State of revenue amounting to US$55,591,60,” NPA said.
Mukupe is a one-time ally to late former President Robert Mugabe under a group of politicians commonly referred to by the Moniker G40.
G40 led a fierce campaign to block then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s succession bid, later to leverage from a November 2017 military coup against the once fierce ruler.
His conviction and impending jail could be the earliest sign current the Zimbabwe incumbent was not yet ready to forgive politicians who once threw spanners in his bid to ascend to the top job.
It is rare under the Zanu PF led dispensation for a party loyalist to be jailed for a crime involving corruption.