Kuwaza admitted to bail in $1m fraud rap

HARARE – A former State Procurement Board (SPB) chairperson, who fell seriously ill following an arrest over $1 million corruption charges, was granted $2 000 bail yesterday.

Charles Kuwaza’s remand proceedings were first held at Metropolitan Clinic before Harare provincial magistrate Elisha Singano on Wednesday.

He was admitted to bail in absentia at Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday.

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

He is being represented by Thabani Mpofu instructed by Thabelani Nleya of Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans.

According to court papers, Kuwaza was once employed in the President’s Office as SPB executive chairman from September 1, 2001 to November 27, 2015.

Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that during his tenure of office, Kuwaza engaged in criminal activities to the prejudice of the State and the transactions were allegedly unearthed by a special audit instituted by the President’s Office.

It was alleged Kuwaza received a donation of Toyota Land Cruiser Prado registration number AAV 0184 from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on behalf of the SPB.

The court heard that instead of handing the vehicle to SPB, Kuwaza allegedly converted it to his personal use, and prejudiced the SPB of the vehicle valued at $120 000.

It was further alleged that Kuwaza reportedly acted contrary to his duties by ordering SPB’s payroll officers not to deduct Pay As You Earn from his taxable benefits without proof of an appropriate tax directive from Zimra.

This allegedly resulted in the tax collector garnishing SPB’s accounts a total of $869 820 as recovery of the untaxed benefits.

According to State papers Kuwaza engaged in various transactions prejudicing the State $1 million and ZW$2,5 billion in the process.

[Adz]