The matter of former Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Minister Prisca Mupfumira, who is out on ZWL$ 5 000 bail has been postponed to November 18.
The former minister is facing seven counts of criminal abuse of office, after allegedly forcing the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) into dodgy investment deals leading to a prejudice of over US$95 million during the time she was Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister
Harare Magistrate, Learnmore Mapiye, on Friday postponed the matter pending trial.
Allegations against Mupfumira are that in 2014, following her appointment as the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare, she intentionally acted contrary to her duties as a public officer by verbally instructing the then permanent secretary in her ministry, Ngoni Masoka, to get a loan advance of USD$90 000 from NSSA.
NSSA, being a parastatal under her ministry, availed the loan advance which was intended for the purchase of her ministerial vehicle, a Toyota Landcruiser model ADX-0878 from Croco Motors.
After the purchase of the Landcruiser, she went on to receive another ministerial vehicle, a Range Rover which was availed to her by government and she accepted it knowing well that she had already bought another one through the NSSA loan she was still servicing.
It is further alleged that sometime in 2016 and on different occasions and in the exercise of her functions as the minister, she intentionally acted contrary to her duties as a public officer by corruptly requesting for US$101 814.80 from NSSA’s corporate social responsibilities budget to use for activities believed to be advances to the parent ministry.
In 2014, she allegedly showed favour to the Ozius Bvute led Metbank by instructing NSSA to financially bail out the bank against the representations and advice from NSSA’s risk management department highlighting concerns over the bank’s financial vulnerability and its high risk to default status and as a result of her influence, NSSA ended up purchasing four Metbank properties worth US$4 908 750 which they had not intended to purchase.
Reports are that in March 2017, she also showed favour to Metbank by directing NSSA to favourably consider an investment proposal for the bank for Command Agriculture in which the bank imposed itself as fertilizer advisors bypassing the advice of NSSA’s risk management department that the bank’s financial vulnerability highlighted high risk of default.
Metbank intended to borrow US$30 million from other sources and requested NSSA to provide it with double cover security in the form of treasury bills(TBs).
As a result of Mupfumira’s influence NSSA sent TBs valued at US$62 250 000 to Metbank on custodial arrangements and Metbank ended up using treasury bills valued at US$37 03.