THE drama involving Chegutu municipality land that was reportedly bought by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) from businessman, Philip Chiyangwa continues to unravel and it is now apparent that something is not right.
Comment: NewsDay Editor
Auditor-General Mildred Chiri recently revealed that NSSA could not locate land it had bought during an audit and immediately after that the authority said it had identified the “missing” property.
NSSA insists it bought the land from Chiyangwa, with the businessman naming lawyers involved in the deal, including one who is now a High Court judge.
On the other hand, Chegutu municipality insists it did not sell the land and the government had declared the sale null and void.
What is clear now is that something is amiss and the onus is on both NSSA and Chiyangwa on the one hand and Chegutu on the other to provide extensive details of the deal.
It has also emerged that a non-executive NSSA board member was directly involved in the deal, yet his firm represents the authority, the highest level of corporate incest.
Chiyangwa has promised to provide documents pertaining to the deal, which should be also interesting in revealing if due process was carried out and if anyone was prejudiced.
But until then, this episode shows the murky corporate governance at NSSA, where the authority routinely gambles with pensioners’ money by making dubious investment decisions.
Surely, there is no way the authority can claim that it could not locate the land and the excuse that this was because of a poor handover takeover procedure that it failed to account for the property.
The cost of the land — $3,4 million — is a huge fortune, and this not money that someone can say went missing because of internal procedures.
NSSA has got away with such strange deals for far too long and there is need for the Finance ministry and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the authority before more money and properties vanish under the lame excuse of poor internal processes.
In the past, the social security authority has invested in banks that have shut down and with them millions in pensioners’ money, yet NSSA continues like everything is normal.
The latest episode is an eye opener and if the government is serious about curbing corruption and protecting investments, then NSSA ought to be investigated.
To Chiyangwa, until you produce the documents pertaining to the sale of the land, the jury is still out on you.