Businessman, Philip Chiyangwa on Thursday insisted that the $3,4 million sale of Hinton Ville land to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) was done above board, with the authority’s executives and top lawyers conducting due diligence and superintending the signing of the agreement.
By PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
The contentious land sale was only brought into public domain by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri early this month in her 2016 financial annual reports, saying the authority had no idea where the $3,4 million land it bought 14 years ago was.
Chiyangwa claimed that he got the Chegutu Municipality land in 2001, when he bailed out the local authority in exchange for prime land.
He said he held on to the land for two years before selling it to NSSA without any developments.
“I bought the land from Chegutu council by a cessation agreement in 2001,” Chiyangwa said.
“I then sold it to NSSA in 2003 after I approached Edwin Manikai, who was the Pension Fund board chair, Amod Takawira, then NSSA general manager, and James Matiza was company secretary.”
The businessman, who is never far from controversy, said the deal was overseen by two reputable legal firms.
Chiyangwa insisted that he was a victim of corrupt administrators at both Chegutu and NSSA.
“These people are thieves; they caused the disappearance of the documents when they left office. Everything was done legally,” he insisted. “Luckily, I still have copies of the agreement.”
However, by last night, he had not yet provided copies of the agreement to this paper, despite promising to do so.
“Sawyer and Mkushi and Dube, Manikai and Hwacha (DMH) were involved in the structuring of the sale agreement,” he insisted.
“My attorney then was David Foroma, who is now on the High Court bench. So everything was done above board.”
NSSA board chairman, Robin Vela acknowledged the two law firms acted during the agreement.
“The transaction was done in 2003, we are still retrieving all the documents. We are advised Sawyer and Mkushi as well as DMH acted for NSSA at the time,” he said. Manikai, who is also a senior partner at DMH, did not respond to questions when sought for comment.
His personal assistant, Kimberly Nyamukapa said: “Mr Manikai will get back to you on your mobile to respond to the questions. He acknowledged receipt of the inquiry.”
However, by yesterday, Manikai had not responded.
Matiza, who was dismissed from NSSA last year, was unreachable on his mobile.
Chegutu Municipality insists that there was no sale agreement between Chiyangwa and the local authority and no record of such a transaction exists.