Wednesday, 3 April 2019


LAWYERS representing former National Social Security Authority (NSSA) chairperson Robin Vela have come out guns blazing following claims that the business tycoon was on the run, arguing that no charges had been preferred against him.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) was investigating a $16 million housing project tender awarded to Housing Africa Corporation (HAC) in 2017 and Vela had been requested to help the anti-graft body in the matter.

According to letters and communications from Mutamangira and Associates, attorneys for the ex-NSSA boss, no criminal charges had been placed against Vela and not even a probe was being conducted.

“As we speak, there is no criminal enquiry pending against Mr Vela in any Zimbabwean court. The claims remain mere allegations. More importantly, despite our diligent efforts, we have failed to locate the warrant of arrest issued against Mr Vela. We have enquired from relevant courts to establish whether such a warrant has been issued against our client. Our efforts have not yielded anything,” wrote Jacob Mutevedzi of Mutamangira and Associates.

The business tycoon, with interests in property development, had been linked to the $16 million housing deal involving HAC and NSSA. 

The State-controlled pension insurer two weeks ago lost the fight against HAC and was ordered to pay Adam Molai’s group $30 million after it was found guilty of illegally terminating the deal.

Vela was removed from the NSSA board last year by then Labour minister Petronella Kagonye, who took over the portfolio after the ouster of former President Robert Mugabe in a military coup in November 2017.

Vela had been accused of authorising engagement of HAC without due diligence, but the businessman argued that minutes of both NSSA’s procurement committee and the main board showed that a due diligence was done and security was provided as required by law.

HAC is led by businessman Molai and was contracted to construct 250 housing units at a purchase price of $38 000 each and an off-take deposit of $16 million was supposed to be paid by NSSA. Newsday


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