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All eyes on minister after arrest of NSSA director



AFTER the arrest of National Security Authority (Nssa) director of investments and properties Brian Murewa last week — more than a year on the run — by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on fraud and corruption charges, attention is now firmly on former Public Service minister Paul Mavima (pictured) and ex-Nssa boss Arthur Manase.

Mavima, now deployed to a new obscure portfolio called ministry of Skills Audit and Development after last year’s general elections, and Manase were implicated in some dodgy deals at Nssa.

Members of the public are closely watching if Zacc will arrest them after the arraignment of Murewa as they were also involved in the minister’s US$400 000 corrupt house deal exposed by The NewsHawks.

Government insiders say if Mavima and Manase are not held to account, then Zacc’s integrity and credibility will take a further knock.

Murewa, who has been on the run for over a year before his recent return from South Africa, was arrested during a raid at his Borrowdale home in Harare last week.

 As first reported by The NewsHawks in February last year, Murewa escaped to South Africa with Zacc in hot pursuit over a corruption case involving Mavima who illegally and corruptly bought a house in Quinnington, Borrowdale, Harare, for US$400 000 using Nssa pensioners’ funds. The minister was removed from Public Service and deployed to the ministry of Skills Audit and Development after last year’s general elections.

Murewa was the agent of the deal executed under the watch of Manase who left last year in July under a dark cloud of corruption following a long period on suspension. Manase faced over 30 charges of corruption. A Nssa forensic audit into a series of corrupt deals at the fund has recommended that Zacc deal with Manase.

On 26 February 2023, The NewsHawks first reported: “The National Social Security Authority (Nssa) investments and properties director Brian Murewa has fled Zimbabwe to South Africa to escape imminent arrest for helping Public Service minister Paul Mavima to corruptly buy a house in Quinnington, Borrowdale, Harare, for US$400 000.”

There were no due process and board approvals to buy the minister’s Quinnington house, Stand No. 218 Lot A1, amid fraudulent financial engineering for private benefit by Murewa.

Although the house was valued at US$350 000, US$400 000 was paid by Nssa in October 2022, creating room for an extra US$50 000 for rent-seeking to go into private pockets.

Murewa was also involved in another corrupt deal in Kariba. On the Kariba real estate deal, original investigations by The NewsHawks (later confirmed by the Nssa forensic audit report seen by our reporters) showed Murewa misrepresented to the Nssa board the true cost of the 2 783-square metre Fishermans Rest Lodge which has six bedrooms, four bathrooms, main en suite, swimming pool and entertainment area, among other features.

While seeking board approval, Murewa pegged the purchase price at US$240 000, fully aware that the public advert for the property was US$220 000. He purposely made an offer of US$240 000 despite it being valued US$220 000 by the seller, Pam Golding Properties.

The agreement of sale and Pam Golding Properties records show the property was eventually purchased for US$215 000.

This means the price was inflated by US$25 000. However, Murewa ensured that US$244 000 was paid for the property, ballooning the financial prejudice to Nssa to US$29 000. At some point, Murewa wanted to pay US$252 631.59.

 Apart from misrepresenting the price to the board, Murewa also inflated it to US$240 000. He then initiated the transfer of US$300 000 on 13 January 2022. His arrest brings Mavima and Manase into the spotlight.— STAFF WRITER.

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