NSSA, project manager squabble stalls hotel operations


OPERATIONS at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA)-owned Beitbridge Hotel are likely to stall as the authority and Daniel Mandishona, the architect and project manager, continue to fight over outstanding fees totalling $1,7 million.

Paidamoyo Muzulu

The new $50 million hotel managed by Rainbow Tourism Group is operating on a temporary permit as the complex still needs a certificate of completion.

Mandishona, through his lawyers Chinyama and Partners, argues that the authority owes him over $1,7 million in architectural and management fees on the project as agreed in their 2007 contract.

A P Lloyd from Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans is the arbitrator in the matter while Mandishona is represented by Chinyama and Partners and NSSA’s counsel is Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners.

In his papers Mandishona seeks that he be awarded: “Payment of the total sum of $1 598 323,83 together with interest on the amount calculated from the 1st of September 2013, the date on which the whole amount was due, to date of payment in full at the bank rate of 4,5% per annum.”

The parties, according to Mandishona, had agreed to a 1,5% fee for project management and 6% for architectural services based on the final total project cost.

However, NSSA in its response argued that it could not pay the full fees since it cancelled the agreement on the advice of the State Procurement Board (SPB) that highlighted the fact that Mandishona could not supervise himself.

NSSA said the project management contract was terminated in 2010 after the SPB raised concerns of conflict of interest in the deal.

“On July 26, 2010, the SPB found that the appointment of the claimant (Mandishona) on a project managed by DMA (Daniel Mandishona Architects) constituted conflict of interest which was not permissible at all, in a public institution because the claimant was managing himself — hence the project management contract was a nullity and voidable at law,” NSSA averred.

Both parties have since filed their papers and a decision is expected in due course.


  1. in this statement which reads, ‘However, NSSA in its response argued that it could not pay the full fees since it cancelled the agreement on the advice of the State Procurement Board (SPB) that highlighted the fact that Mandishona could not supervise himself.’

    This was on the advice of the SPB though it was wise to deal it that way since there was conflict of intrest, however, from the text it seems as if the complainant had not been brought to the attention of the contract recission. If it was the case then he must be entitled to his full benefits and not part payment. However, if he continued with the knowledge of the contract being cancelled then the NSSA is totally immune from paying the money since the cancellation date.

    In the fight it is clear that the architecture was not made aware of all this, and it is open that the NSSA board wanted to exploit his entrepenurial flair to their advantage but I say go get given your balances or keep hold of the certificate man you are right if it was not highlighted to your knowledge.

    • It appears there was no cancellation close because it was a contract between buddies.

      otherwise cancellation would entitle the architect to his full fees, without doing anything.

      contracts are not easy to cancel and the cancellation close usually makes the contractor win everything for doing nothing.

      in other words there should be going to court for payment of fees due to cancellation not for continued performance after cancellation.

  2. Why would NSSA invest in projects where they have no competence internally? Anyone who has been in construction knows you cannot engage an architect to double up as the project manager. That is the problem where you have finance guys who think they can manage technical projects. This NSSA seriously has to be looked at closely as their decisions are eroding our contributions through incompetence.

    • I am not sure if you’re correct on this one. I have worked on projects that as one firm we delivered a full consultancy package to the clients. It is very normal in engineering contracts involving big companies. DMA is not that big though. NSSA is just delaying the inevitable and are lucky if DMA actually carried the management task coz they would still be paid some part,yes some part of the fee in accordance with Zimbabwe’s own architectural contracts; that is unless they tore the standard contract and opted for one drafted at some sports clubs with buddies drinking J&D.

    • When I used work @ NSSA back then in 2005, there used to be civil engineer employed by NSSA to run these projects, not sure if the position is still there, but that person would typically handle such projects

  3. NeReal Estate yakatangwa neNSSA iyi, tichanzwa zvakawanda. Couldn’t they have done more relevant projects that improve the lives of contributors like providing housing? Why a hotel? And does investing in hotels in Zimbabwe even make sense at this point in time? Some of these projects are better left to established investors and developers like Old Mutual. They would know what they are doing.

    • A hotel at beitbridge could have a higher NPV than say housing for rental. NSSA should not be allowed to engage in risky projects even if they bring higher returns. So a net return on investment of around 3 per cent is reasonable in my opinion. Trust bank once bought cars for resale!

  4. Its a boys club giving each other contracts, maladministration. incompetence, corruption and out right fraud

    The order of the day for ZANU PF its a culture now.

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