Zimbabwe’s superstar boxer Charles Manyuchi has claimed that Zimra is demanding a staggering $70 000 before they can release his passport which was confiscated upon his return from a successful trip to Italy last month.
Zimra has been holding onto the passport since July 22 when the boxer made a triumphant return home, only to face frustrations at the Harare International Airport.
Since the boxer’s return, he has been fighting in his own corner to recover his travel document with little
The ministry of sport has joined forces with the pugilist, who is fast running out of time, as he needs to travel outside the country to start preparations for his next fight.
The Masvingo-born star stopped Italian Gianculla Frezza in the sixth round in sequel, Italy to retain his crown.
Charles Manyuchi in Italy on Saturday night
For winning the title, Manyuchi was honoured with a trophy — a sculpted wooden, but gold-coated glove in commemoration of a former great Italian boxer and world champion Primo Carnera who died in 1967.
However, Zimra wants Manyuchi to pay import duty for the trophy.
They initially seized the trophy before later releasing it on the condition the boxer surrender his passport.
Manyuchi also claims that he earned $12 000 from the fight with 25% of that going into the pockets of his Zambian managers.
He later received $50 000 from President Robert mugabe as appreciation for his efforts at a luncheon held in his honour.
NewsDay tried to establish from Zimra why they were withholding his passport, but the authorities declined to shed light on the matter.
“I acknowledge receipt of your questions and wish to comment as follows: section 34A of the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 23:11] precludes the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) from divulging specific information pertaining to its clients to a third party,” responded Zimra acting board secretary and director for legal and corporate services, Siyabona Musithu.
However, manyuchi disclosed that Zimra was pressing for the staggering payment.
On Tuesday, the boxer visited the ministry of sport, Arts and Culture offices in Harare seeking their intervention.
“They want $70 000 duty for a trophy that is not even worth $2,” manyuchi said. “what they don’t understand is that I did not win the trophy, but I defended my title. I was given the glove by the mayor of Sequel as an honour
for winning the fight, and nothing more. The trophy is even inscribed the name Primo Carnera on it and I don’t know where the confusion is coming from. I went to Italy to defend y title which I successfully did and not to win a trophy.”
Principal director in the ministry of sport Benson Dube said yesterday, “We got to know about the issue recently and we are handling it.We are in the process of engaging Zimra.”
Manyuchi said Zimra’s continued hold of his document has interrupted preparations for his upcoming fights. The 26-year-old was set to travel to south Africa on monday to buy his training and fighting gear ahead of a fight in November, but he had to abort the trip.
He is also supposed to leave for Zambia next week to begin camp for the fight, but that trip also hangs in the balance, as Zimra continues to frustrate him.
“My preparations are well off course and I’m disappointed. I thought I was doing this for my country, but if this is how I get to be treated by the same country, then it’s sad. I should be in south Africa right now buying equipment I’m going to use, but I cannot travel. I should begin camp in Zambia next week, but at the moment I’m not sure if I will able to do that,” he added
Tourism minister, Walter Mzembi and acting sport, Arts and Culture minister Supa Mandiwanzira criticised Zimra for seizing the passport