Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Kuwaza burial today

Former State Procurement Board (SPB) chairperson Mr Charles Tawonerera Kuwaza, who committed suicide on Tuesday by jumping from the ninth floor of Club Chambers building in Harare, will be buried today at Glen Forest Memorial Park.

Former head of the State Procurement Board Charles Kuwaza
Former head of the State Procurement Board Charles Kuwaza

Mr Kuwaza’s body arrived at his Borrowdale home from a city parlour yesterday evening in preparation for burial.

His autopsy was conducted yesterday, but efforts to get the results were fruitless.

It is believed that he had gone into the building to collect documents from his office to support his defence in a matter before the courts.

Mr Kuwaza was facing five counts of corruption involving over $1 million and ZW$2,5 billion.

He was freed on $2 000 bail on March 24.

Sources close to the investigations yesterday confirmed that the autopsy had been conducted.

On Tuesday, the former SPB boss went into his office at around 11am and he left his wife, who had accompanied him in their family car.

The wife made a follow-up about 40 minutes later after members of the public indicated that a man had apparently committed suicide.

She discovered her husband’s lifeless body crushed on the tarmac.

Sources close to the family said Mr Kuwaza did not take lightly his arrest on corruption charges.

It was reported that he got stressed when he was arrested and fell sick in police custody.

He was then put on life support and had to be remanded from his hospital bed.

Mr Kuwaza was facing one count of theft, two counts of fraud and two counts of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.

On count one, he allegedly received on behalf of the SPB a donation of a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado valued at $120 000 from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Instead of handing over the vehicle to SPB, he reportedly converted it to his personal use.

On count two, being a public officer, he allegedly acted contrary to his duties by ordering SPB’s payroll officers not to deduct Pay As You Earn from his taxable benefits.

This was done without proof of an appropriate tax directive from Zimra, resulting in the tax collector garnishing SPB’s accounts a total of $869 820 to recover the prejudice for untaxed benefits.

Mr Kuwaza was once the Permanent Secretary for Finance and Economic Development, as well as for the Ministry of Defence between 1994 and 2000.

He was at the helm of the SPB as chairperson from 2000, but was sacked from the State procurement agency in November 2015 after Government resolved not to renew his contract and ordered an audit into the board’s operations. The Herald