Kuwaza dies in Harare fall

HARARE - Former top civil servant and chairperson of the State Procurement Board (SPB), Charles Kuwaza ,63, plunged to his death yesterday after falling nine floors from a high-rise Harare building — in a tragic case which is suspected to have been suicide.

At the time of his death yesterday afternoon, he was on bail in a fraud case involving at least $1 million.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to the Daily News said Kuwaza had been in the company of a woman, believed to be his wife, when he died.

He had apparently left the woman in the parking lot at Club Chambers, while he went into the building to collect some documents to help with his defence in the fraud case.

One of the people who spoke to the Daily News and who works at a building close to Club Chambers said he had heard a “sickening thud” before he rushed there to see what was happening.

Upon getting there, he discovered the lifeless body of Kuwaza lying next to his car.

A Daily News crew arrived at the scene soon after, as police officers were making arrangements to take Kuwaza’s body to the mortuary.

Journalist and relative of Kuwaza, Kudzai, said the family was still gathering exact details surrounding his uncle’s death.

Kuwaza, also a former Zimbabwe Chess Federation president, was freed on $2 000 bail in absentia late last month after he fell ill, forcing the ensuing court proceedings to be conducted at a local clinic where he was receiving medical assistance.

He was facing one count of theft, two counts of fraud and two counts of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.

Prosecutors alleged that during his time at the SPB, Kuwaza had engaged in several criminal activities which had prejudiced the State.

It was also alleged that he had received a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on behalf of the SPB, and that instead of handing the vehicle to the SPB, Kuwaza had allegedly converted it to his personal use — prejudiced the State of the vehicle valued at $120 000.

Police said yesterday that they were still investigating the circumstances which led to his death.

Kuwaza had previously served as the permanent secretary for the ministries of Finance and Defence between 1994 and 2000.

In 2001, he was appointed the chairperson of the SPB and operated from the President’s Office until he was sacked in October 2015.

He also served at one point as the deputy chairperson of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s board.

Kuwaza was a renowned chess player who not only distinguished himself nationally but also internationally, winning several awards.

Comments (9)

The tragedy is that police are unable to issue a statement giving coherent details about what actually happened. This lack of transparency usually leads people to suspect foul play and considering the kind of information that this man had access to, it is not unreasonable to say he was eliminated.

Putin - 19 April 2017

Ngemadendere wee mhuri ye kwa Kuwaza. Uyu wazorora. Wasara, rekani i kudziya mwoto we mbava please.

Sekuru Ndaronga - 19 April 2017

Whilst I really sympathise with the family of Charles Kuwaza, I have failed to forgive this man's abuse of state funds from the day he ordered his private secretary to bring him a bottle of wine in UK because he had failed to find his favourite wine in that country when he was still boss of Ministry of Finance in 1998.Honestly, a responsible person will never squander state resources recklessly like that. RIP boss you lived a life that many Zimbabweans will never dream of, however on the expense of the nation and its beloved citizens.

Ziziharinanyanga - 19 April 2017

On the judgement day our Lord is going to ask this question. Were you a just person on earth?

facts - 19 April 2017

Remember hell is not in heaven it is here on earth. The earth's core is where all who will be denied in heaven is going to burn for several thousands of years before the destruction of their soul eternally. That's where Datan and Corah who withstood Moses went straight after being swallowed by the earth. Also Judas. They might leave a good life here on earth but one day, one day

facts - 19 April 2017

@Sekuru Ndaronga, mutsabvamwadaroba kani. Umwemusi wakaitwa zvekupushwa, ushaziwa ndiwani. This is mafia land.

Dopori - 20 April 2017

mumwe musi wakaitwe zvekunongedzwa pfuti wakanzi choose kugara pastove ingopise yakatsvuka kunge vhunze or jamba iye akachuza kujamba wabva wafa.. aahhh sorry manhingi zvese nemhuri yake

blair - 20 April 2017

I hope he left a suicide note with details of how he abused state funds his accomplises and beneficiaries who must pay back those monies.

Sinyo - 20 April 2017

Gwara ,li gwala.

Charles - 20 April 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.