Another ex-Nssa boss dragged to court

HARARE - The fraud scandal that prejudiced State-run National Social Security Authority (Nssa) of $8 million has sucked in another former boss.

The pension fund’s ex-properties manager, Samuel Chiduza, was dragged to court yesterday facing criminal abuse of office charges.

He is accused of misleading Nssa into buying a property at an inflated price.

He appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa and was remanded out of custody on stringent bail conditions.

The 61-year-old is jointly accused with former Nssa general manager James Matiza, who was chairperson of the management investments committee and former director investments Shadreck Vera.

The trio are said to have concealed a valuation report which could have saved the pension fund $8 million in a property purchase deal.

Matiza and Vera are already on remand over the matter.

The court heard that Chiduza was a member of Nssa board investments committee while Matiza was the chairperson and Vera the director.

The trio was mandated by Nssa to seek property evaluators to determine the market value of a Borrowdale property.

This was to enable Nssa to use a benchmark for price bargaining.

At all material times, Nssa was being represented by the accused and his alleged co-accomplices Matiza and Vera.

It is the State’s case that Nssa obtained valuation reports from three companies namely Bard Real Estate which came up with a market value of $24 million, CB Richard Ellis which came up with a market value of $25,6 million and Green Plan which came up with a market value of $36,5 million.

It is alleged that the three reports were supposed to be tabled before the board for adjudication before the agreement of sale was entered into by the seller.

Of all the three reports, Bard Real Estate was the most favourable that would give Nssa bargaining power but the accused persons allegedly deliberately concealed the report, the court heard.

The trio were said to have referred the other two reports which were not cost-effective to the board, which eventually worked with a higher valuation provided by Green Plan.

Through the misrepresentation, the trio are said to have misled the pension fund into believing that the property was worth $36,5 million yet they knew could be purchased at $24 million as per the cheapest Bard Real Estate report.

Nssa eventually purchased the property at $32 million after bargaining.

The trio’s actions had the effect of prejudicing the pension fund of $8 million — the net difference between the purchase price of $32 million and market value of $24 million.

The offence came to light on October 24, 2016 after Nssa carried out an audit.

Comments (1)

NSSA should have stopped being compulsory and become a standalone insurer after 10yrs. Thay way workers would have a choice based on services and benefits. That way NSSA management would have been seized with driving the insurer to success and maintain the cleintele base that they had. Unfortunately the funds were easy come for management and prone to abuse at the expnse of contributors/shareholders. Its not late to review NSSA

Sinyo - 13 January 2017

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