NSSA boss on fraud charges
5 January 2017
FORMER National Social Security Authority general manager James Matiza yesterday appeared in court accused of defrauding his ex-paymaster of US$8 million in property acquisition scheme.
Matiza, 59, appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro charged with criminal abuse of office as a public officer.
Matiza is jointly charged with former NSSA’s Investments Director, Shadreck Vera and Properties Manager, Samuel Chiduza.
Vera and Chiduza are still at large, according to the State.
Matiza was not asked to plead to the charge and was remanded out of custody to January 18 on US$500 bail.
Circumstances leading to Matiza’s arrest are that sometime in September 2014, NSSA intended to buy stand No 19280 also known as Celestial Park situated along Borrowdale Road.
As part of its procurement policy NSSA required some valuation reports which were to be used as benchmark prices.
As the chairperson and Board member of NSSA Management Investments Committee, Matiza together with his accomplices were tasked to seek for property valuators to determine the market value of the property in question.
As a result they obtained quotations from Bard Real Estate with a gross replacement cost of US$29 million, a forced value of US$18 million and the market value of US$24 million.
They also went to CB Richards Ellis with a gross replacement value of US$24 354 000 with a forced value not provided and a market value of US$26 600 000.
Matiza and his accomplices also approached Green Plan Private Limited which did not provide gross replacement value but the market value of US$36 500 000.
It is alleged that the three valuations report were supposed to be tabled to the Board for adjudication before the agreement was entered into by the seller.
The State represented by Nancy Chandakaona alleges that from the three quotations Bard Real Estate was the most favourable since it gave NSSA bargaining power.
Allegations are that the trio deliberately concealed it and referred the remaining two quotations.
The State also alleges that through this concealment the trio misrepresented to their former paymaster that the property was pegged at US$36 500 000 instead of US$24 million as per the cheapest Bard Real Estate valuation report.
The property is said to have been purchased at the misrepresented price of US$32 million prejudicing NSSA of US$8m in the process.