7 June 2018

Zimbabwe: National Building Society Loses $78 Million As Strategic Executive in Housing Scam

National Building Society (NBS) lost $78million to its employee who allegedly handpicked his companies to do building contracts without permission from authorities.

NBS dragged its strategic executive assistant to the general manager, Tirivavi James Chiuta, 35, to court on criminal abuse of office charges after he allegedly swindled the firm of an estimated $78 827 500.

Court heard the handpicked companies failed to deliver resulting in the offence being unearthed.

Chiuta appeared before magistrate Victoria Mashamba who remanded him out of custody on $1, 000 bail pending his trial.

NBS is the complainant in the case.

According to court papers, in September 2016, NBS convened a workshop whose resolutions included the mandate to deliver 10 000 houses country wide.

NSSA was to provide funding with a view to investing employee pensions as well as empowering lowly remunerated citizens to own their own houses.

Through its head of projects and pursuant to this ambition, road shows were conducted countrywide in order to identify potential partners.

Some developers were listed for various towns and the projects were valued at $80 million.

Instead of giving the contracts to the listed developers, Chiuta and his accomplice who is yet to be apprehended handpicked their own developers for five projects and the cost was valued at $78 827 according to court papers.

He directed NBS to implement the projects but the picked companies failed to pass the projects .

Court heard all the five had existing land ownership disputes.

Court heard a company called N Frasys had to settle the dispute using NBS funds.

The company used $424 000 and $1, 5 million but to date no work has been carried out or delivered to NBS.

Prosecutors said Chiuta was wrong in favouring the companies which failed to deliver resulting in NBS losing over $78 million.

Linda Gadzikwa appeared for the state.

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