FORMER State Procurement Board chairperson Mr Charles Kuwaza has refused to vacate an SPB house demanding that the property be given to him as part of his exit package. Mr Kuwaza got hundreds of thousands of dollars from the SPB to renovate the house, Number 88 Quinnington Road in Borrowdale. It is understood the new board led by Ambassador Buzawani Mothobi gave Mr Kuwaza an ultimatum of March 31, 2016 to surrender all SPB assets including the house and vehicles.
Responding to questions from The Herald, Ambassador Mothobi confirmed on Monday that they were trying to recover SPB assets from MrKuwaza. “As part of the ongoing investigations referred to, we are actively pursuing the matter of recovering all SPB property in the possession of Mr Kuwaza including any and all related matter. Once concluded, I should be in a better position to respond,” said Ambassador Mothobi. Sources said Mr Kuwaza had engaged lawyers and was frustrating efforts to recover all the assets.
“He is giving different reasons for his reluctance to surrender all the assets. On the house, sometimes he says he is taking it as part of his package but he also told the principal officer (suspended) Cledwyn Nyanhete that he bought it off SPB in 2008. What he forgets is that since 2009, he was taking money from SPB for alleged renovations of the same house. If indeed he owned the house, the question is why then was he taking SPB money for renovations?” queried a source.
Another source said Mr Nyanhete was given the mandate to recover all assets in the possession of Mr Kuwaza through handover, takeover. The SPB last week sent Mr Nyanhete on an indefinite forced leave to pave way for investigations and an audit of all procurement activities from 2009 to December 2015. Since dollarisation in 2009, the SPB has hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons with Government officials expressing concern over underhand dealings.
“So Nyanhete was soft on Kuwaza who is his former boss in terms of recovering all the assets as instructed by the board. This somehow contributed to his suspension as well because the board felt he would interfere with investigations and the audit,” said a source. “What is clear is that Kuwaza wants to bargain on the house as his exit package. But that is unlikely to get the board’s approval given the financial burden that the SPB is exposed to due to his tax evasion case where zimra has been garnishing the SPB account,” said the source.