National Social Security Authority (NSSA) strategic executive assistant, James Tirivavi Chiuta yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court facing allegations of swindling pensioners of $31 727 500 in botched land deals.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Chiuta (35), who is already on remand on another $89 million fraud case, was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Milton Serima, who remanded him out of custody on the same bail conditions of the previous case.
When he appeared on the $89 million fraud allegations last month, Chiuta paid $1 000 bail and was ordered to surrender his passport to the clerk of court.
Allegations are that in September 2016, NSSA and National Building society (NBS) convened a strategic meeting, whose resolutions mandated NBS to provide 10 000 low-cost housing developments countrywide.
Roadshows were conducted countrywide headed by engineer Silas Mukono with a view to identify willing partners for engagements.
The team allegedly identified 14 possible projects out of which they selected five projects to kick-start the programme and these are Victoria Range in Masvingo, Denver township (Bulawayo), Mkoba (Gweru), Dulibadzimu (Beitbridge) and Emganwini (Bulawayo).
It is alleged on July 25 last year, NBS treasurer Latifa Kassim forwarded five projects to NSSA chief strategic investment officer Chakanyuka Nziradzemhuka for funding by NSSA at a total of $80 991 200.
On August 24, Chiuta responded to Kassim by emailing his own five projects with a total cost of $78 827 500.
It is alleged Chiuta’s justification of his own projects was that NBS projects had insufficient information for approval by the NSSA board.
The State alleges Zvishavane and Gweru projects failed to materialise, as the contractors, Globeny Construction and N-Frays, claimed ignorance of the awards.
Investigations revealed that N-Frays and Globeny, who were purportedly awarded the tender to implement the Zvishavane and Gweru projects, were not aware of the awards and neither had they submitted the proposals for the said projects.
Furthermore, Shabanie-Mashava Mines chief executive officer Chirandu Dlembeu and Gweru’s Shropshire Farm owner Shorayi Zondo stated that they never entered into any agreements with either NBS/NSSA or the said companies for any projects implementation on their respective land.
It is alleged as a result of Chiuta’s actions, NSSA was potentially prejudiced $31 727 500.
Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.