First lady Auxillia Mnangagwa reportedly shocked Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) staff at the Forbes border post after she erupted in anger, accusing them of corruption.
According to a ZimLive report, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife shouted at one ZIMRA employee for staring at her and her aides also grabbed a manager by his belt.
The incident allegedly took place in early May this year as the first lady returned from an unexplained road trip to Mozambique. ZimLive quoted a source as saying:
She got out of her vehicle with aides and started shouting at everyone, accusing the border officials of being corrupt.
She started asking those who were close for their names. She picked on a ZIMRA officer and accused him of staring at her as if she was a prostitute.
She then demanded to see the ZIMRA manager, Tichaona Phiri, who was in his office. She sent her aides to get him. He was literally manhandled by his belt to meet her.
She shouted at him for not coming to meet her and then instructed her boys to ‘take him and go with him.
The poor manager was moved around the border while being held by his belt. She kept on shouting.
When the manager was finally let go, she demanded that he should be fired as well as the ZIMRA officer accused of staring.
Phiri, the regional manager for ZIMRA, reportedly moved out of his office and started working from home following the incident.
The reason behind Mnangagwa’s alleged outburst has not been revealed, however, it is suspected that it is linked to two incidents at the border when goods linked to the first family or their associates were withheld. Said a ZimLive source at the border:
Phiri seized 15 trucks loaded with chrome which had been under-weighed.
The trucks were destined for shipment in Beira and had the fingerprints of the first family.
It took the intervention of the ZIMRA commissioner for customs (Batsirai Chadzingwa) for the trucks to be released.
On another occasion, one of the sons imported some Italian booze which was labelled in Italian.
It was held up because no one at the border understood Italian.
After angry phone calls, Chadzingwa stepped in once more to get it released.
Chadzingwa reportedly visited the Forbes border to understand what really transpired after the Auxillia Mnangagwa incident.
A ZIMRA spokesman refused to comment on the incident.