Former UZ boss off the hook in 27 counts fraud scandal

HARARE – Former University of Zimbabwe vice chancellor Levi Nyagura has been allowed to escape a 27-count fraud scandal after a Harare court removed him from remand citing the State’s failure to prosecute him since 2018.

The former UZ boss was being charged together with two college top officials, Lazarus Mabvira and James Chipendo.

In his ruling, Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi said there was no reason to keep Nyagura and his co-accused on remand when it was not clear as to when their trial shall commence.

He ordered prosecutors to continue by way of summons.

Allegations were that sometime between 2015 and 2018, the trio connived on various occasions to prejudice the university of substantial amounts of money through “dubious” awarding of tenders for services that were required by the country’s highest learning institution.

The university also received services of cutting down five trees from Tynwald Sawmills, a company that was awarded a tender outside due diligence requirements.

Tynwald Sawmills was paid US$9,950 but there was neither security check nor storekeepers’ signature to confirm that the services were rendered.

On another occasion, the trio allegedly connived to split a tender of a single procurement into two purchases each below the competitive bidding threshold of US$10,000.

They awarded the two contracts to Tynwald Sawmills without going to tender as required by the law.

On November 6, they awarded services to Tynwald Sawmills without solicitation for quotations from at least three competitive bidders.

Mabvira raised a purchase worth US$49,950 in favour of Tynwald and he also made a goods received voucher on November 1 2015, acknowledging the services that had been rendered to the university.

On November 13, 2015 the university transferred the money into Tynwald Sawmills’s CBZ account.

Nyagura and Mabvira allegedly did the same thing with the cutting down of trees around the university in which they allegedly favoured Tynwald Sawmills and other companies without soliciting the required amount of quotations in total.

They allegedly spent more than US$200,000 on illegal contacting.

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