via Government recovers SPB ‘missing’ vehicles | The Herald December 21, 2015
The five all-terrain Government vehicles, which the former State Procurement Board (SPB) chairperson Mr Charles Kuwaza was hiding, have finally been allocated to some staff members following his ouster from the board.
The Toyota Hilux double cab vehicles, valued at $210 000, were bought for senior staff at the SPB in 2012.
Mr Kuwaza hid the vehicles for nearly four years and shifted them from one hideout to another each time the media reported about them.
As they gathered dust for the past 47 months, the vehicles cost the tender board tens of thousands of dollars in parking fees.
Mr Kuwaza was relieved of his duties last month and was replaced by Ambassador Buzwani Mothobi, who was already a board member.
Mr Kuwaza had been with the tender board since the early 2000s with his contract being renewed several times but this time President Mugabe declined to renew it.
SPB sources said the vehicles, bought from Toyota Zimbabwe, had now been allocated to four procurement executives and the director for finance.
“The beneficiaries have received their cars and this came immediately after (Mr) Kuwaza was ousted,” said one source, who benefited from the vehicles.
“The good thing is that the new chairman knew what was going on since he attended our board meetings as a member.
“It surprised many that one would hide the vehicles without any explanation and the SPB continued paying parking fees every month.”
Added another source: “At a five-star hotel where the vehicles spent nearly three years parked, they were paying $750 and it means they paid about $40 000 in parking fees. They were, up to when they were distributed, hidden at another council parking area and it meant costs for the SPB.”
This comes as the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has also garnished the SPB bank account for the second time to recover over $800 000 in Pay As You Earn (PAYE) arrears for Mr Kuwaza.
The garnishee order followed several attempts by Zimra to have the SPB settle the debt by issuing ultimatums that were not met.
Mr Kuwaza’s argument, sources said, was that his contract “was signed by the President”.
SPB was not remitting PAYE on Mr Kuwaza’s earnings since 2009 while all the other employees of the SPB have had their earnings taxed and the PAYE remitted to Zimra.
Mr Kuwaza took home about $147 000 in house repairs and maintenance allowances last year alone, with his total benefits gobbling nearly $210 000 over and above his salary.
Since 2009, Mr Kuwaza had been entitled to allowances for domestic workers, house repairs and maintenance, telephones, security, entertainment, electricity and water.
He was also entitled to fumigation, internet and fuel allowances and board fees.
Since the inception of the multi-currency regime in 2009, Mr Kuwaza took home nearly $400 000 in allowances.