BUSINESSMAN Mr Tafadzwa Musarara has won the US$ 160 000 motor vehicle case against the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) after the High Court delivered a ruling in favour of the businessman.
The High Court struck down a section of the Customs and Excise Act for being unconstitutional.
Mr Musarara had challenged the validity of section 192 of the Customs and Excise Act which the court ruled out as unconstitutional.
The businessman cited Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube and Zimra as the first and second respondents respectively.
He had lost his new top of the range vehicle, a Mercedes Benz G63 AMG worth US$160 000 to Zimra after he had purchased and fully paid for it from a car dealer.
The vehicle was confiscated by Zimra in December 2019.
This was despite the fact that he had explained he was not aware of the outstanding duty payments between Zimra and the seller, Clemio Kahuni.
Mr Musarara complained that the confiscation was unconstitutional because Kahuni had made him believe that he had paid the duty.
High Court judge Justice Webster Chinamhora upheld his argument ruling that going forward, Zimra must allow any buyer of improperly cleared goods to make representations before it is allowed to enforce payment of customs duty by buyers.
“My view is that sections 192 (1) and (1a) violate section 68 (1) of the Constitution,” he said.
“The basis of this disposition is that the Constitution, via section 68 (1) need for reasonableness and proportionality in administrative conduct. There is no second-guessing that proportionality entails that the desired goal of an administrative decision is achieved by the use of a method which is least drastic or oppressive to achieve it,” Justice Chinamhora said.
Justice Chinamhora said an administrative body must not deploy more heavy-handed means that are unnecessary to achieve its objective.
“The confiscation of my vehicle contravened a Constitutional right to administrative conduct that is lawful, prompt, impartial and both substantively and procedurally fair,” said Mr Musarara through his lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya.
“I was never allowed to make representations before seizure and was not even given notice.”