Chiyangwa dragged into ‘missing’ NSSA land saga

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THE mystery over the National Social Security Authority (NSSA)’s missing 529-hectare land acquired in Chegutu 14 years ago took a new twist yesterday, with board chairman, Robin Vela confirming that they bought the land from businessman Philip Chiyangwa’s company, Gabroc Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd.
The transaction caused a storm two weeks ago when Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s 2016 annual audit report indicated that NSSA had failed to locate the land or produce documents proving ownership of the piece of land in Chegutu district.
Vela confirmed that the pension fund bought the land for $3,4 million from Chiyangwa’s company.
“The acquisition of the 59ha of land took place in 2003. NSSA entered into a cession agreement with Gabroc. Gabroc acquired the land from Chegutu Municipality. Gabroc is a vehicle in which Chiyangwa is the principal,” Vela said.
But Chegutu town clerk, Alex Mandigo yesterday distanced the council from the land deal, saying they did not sell any piece of land to NSSA.
“We have not had a transaction with NSSA on any piece of land. If they want to engage us for housing projects or any other developments, they are free to engage us,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Chiyangwa did not deny his involvement in the deal, but trashed Chiri’s report as “containing half truths”.
“Talk to NSSA. Why do you ask? Are you going to be asking who sells what to NSSA or it’s simply when I do?” he said.
“My own conclusion was that the (AG) report lacks depth and cannot be relied upon.”
However, sources close to the development said the land could not be transferred or given title deeds because it had not been surveyed.
“The piece of land was not surveyed and in the past, the central government has investigated the issue and recommended that the sale was null and void. NSSA had bought the piece of land, which has no number, because it did not do any due diligence before completing the transaction,” the source said.
The AG’s report said the land could not be identified because there was no proper handover/takeover between boards at NSSA.
“There was no written handover/takeover between new executives and their predecessors. Handover/takeover should have been documented and agreed between the concerned officers,” Chiri’s report said.
“As an example, land in Chegutu, Hintonville Extension, valued at $3 419 000, was written off in the year ended December 31, 2016, as the authority could not locate the land.”