Zvikomborero Parafini,Court Reporter
FORMER minister Prisca Mupfumira and her alleged accomplices are set to explain the alleged abuse of NSSA funds for her daughter’s Cape Town wedding on the trial dates that have been set for November 4-5.
Senior prosecutor Micheal Reza advised the presiding magistrate Hosea Mujaya that the State is now ready to deal with four of the nine counts.
“The State wishes to advise the accused persons that their trial date has been set and while they are facing nine counts, on that date, the State intends to prefer four counts that are complete and these are two counts involving cars, one involving Mupfumira’s daughter’s Capetwon wedding and the fourth is a money laundering charge.
“The charge involving Mupfumira’s son’s Victoria Falls wedding will be dealt with at a later stage,” said Reza.
Mupfumira is being co-charged with former permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka and former NSSA general manager Barnabus Matongera.
Mupfumira and Masoka are being charged with criminal abuse of office and money laundering relating to a US$5 million loan extended from National Social Security Authority (NSSA), air tickets purchased for the ex-minister’s daughter’s wedding and a US$6, 5 million Mzenya-Gweru housing projects.
On the Mzenya-Gweru housing project, Mupfumira was jointly charged with Nssa contributions and collections director Barnabas Matongera.
Prosecutor Michael Reza alleged that sometime in 2013 Metbank defaulted in payment of US$25, 3 million investment loan maturity to NSSA that was secured with properties worth around 32 million.
Nssa then took over Metbank properties they held as surety to a value of US$25, 3 million on a purchase/sale agreement as a result NSSA remained holding Metbank properties worth around 7 million after sealing the 25.3 million investment loan.
As a result of the default, Nssa classified Metbak as a high risk client that was not worth trading with and in December 2014 Mupfumira was appointed minister of Public Service and on December 15, five days after her appointment she held a meeting with Metbank officials Ozias Bvute, Enoch Kamushinda and Belmont Ndebele at the ministry offices where no minutes were recorded.
On December 16, 2014 Mupfumira and Masoka held another meeting with then NSSA general manager James Matiza and the Metbank officials at the ministry offices.
Mupfumira instructed NSSA to financially bail out Metbank to the tune of US$15 million as it was facing liquidity challenges.
Nssa declined the proposal since Metbank had previously defaulted in a US$25, 3 million loan advance. Mupfumira disregarded all that and went to give James Matiza instruction to seriously consider.
Metbank’s loan request and process a loan of US$15million to settle the bank’s US$5 million depositors credit and US$10 million for use in housing projects and bring feedback the following day.
However, no minutes on the meeting were recorded.
NSSA resolved to decline the US$15 million loan request after considering Metbank’s risk status however Mupfumira and Masoka forced Nssa to purchase Metbank properties worth 4 908 050 that they had not intended to purchase.