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Ex-SPB boss Kuwaza laid to rest

Former State Procurement Board (SPB) chairman Mr Charles Tawonerera Kuwaza, who committed suicide on Tuesday by jumping from the ninth floor of Club Chambers in Harare, was laid to rest yesterday at Glen Forest Memorial Park.

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

Efforts to get the results for his autopsy conducted on Thursday were fruitless.

A private funeral service was conducted at his Borrowdale home where the taking of pictures and videos of proceedings was banned.

It is believed that Mr Kuwaza went into the Club Chambers to collect documents from his office to bolster his defence in a pending criminal case.

He 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.

Mr Kuwaza went into the building at around 11am and 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.

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 Landcruiser 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.

A career civil servant, Mr Kuwaza also served as 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 left in November 2015 after Government resolved not to renew his contract and ordered an audit into the board’s operations. The Herald