Fungai Lupande Court Reporter—
Former State Procurement Board (SPB) chairperson Charles Tawonerera Kuwaza, accused of five counts of corruption involving over $1 million and ZW$2,5 billion, was last Friday freed on $2 000 bail. Kuwaza is reportedly on a life support at Metropolitan Clinic after he suddenly fell seriously ill soon after his arrest on Wednesday last week. As part of bail conditions, Kuwaza was ordered to report on Monday and Friday at CID Commercial Crime Unit and to surrender title deeds to his Belvedere property.
His lawyer, Mr Shadreck Chisoko, however, told the court that he was having challenges in submitting the title deeds because it does not make reference to an address but only a stand number.
However, the court confirmed the title deeds.
It is alleged that Kuwaza committed the offences while at the helm of SPB.
Prosecuting, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa told the court that Kuwaza was employed by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) as SPB executive chairman from September 1, 2001 to November 27, 2015.
He said during his tenure of office, Kuwaza allegedly engaged in criminal activities to the prejudice of the State. The allegations stemmed from transactions unearthed by an OPC special audit.
According to the indictment, Kuwaza is facing one count of theft, two counts of fraud and two counts of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.
On count one, it is alleged that during his term of office, Kuwaza received on behalf of the SPB a donation of a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado registration number AAV 0184 from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Instead of handing over the vehicle to SPB, Kuwaza allegedly converted it to his personal use, prejudicing the SPB of the vehicle, valued at $120 000.
On count two, Kuwaza, being a public officer, allegedly acted contrary to his duties by ordering SPB’s payroll officers not to deduct Pay As You Earn from his taxable benefits. This was done without proof of an appropriate tax directive from Zimra, resulting in the tax collector garnishing SPB’s accounts a total of $869 820 to recover the prejudice for untaxed benefits.
Article Source: The Herald