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    Friday, 2 November 2018

    Musara sold State land to us – Army

    Benjamin Musara.

    Commission quizzes Army on land purchases from Musara
    50 more stands bought from ZCC


    GREAT ZIMBABWE HOTEL – The Zimbabwe National Army made two separate agreements with Wallben Investments and one agreement was for the sale of 550 residential stands at Victoria Ranch in Masvingo where the other was for development of those stands, Captain Anania Tichariswa Kurauone has said.
    Capt Kurauone’s evidence to the Commission of Inquiry into the sale of State land in and around urban areas since 2005 contradicted Wallben proprietor Benjamin Musara who earlier on told the Commission that he never sold any land to the Army.
    Captain Kurauone insisted that the Army bought stands from Musara and then contracted him to do the developments.
    Commission chairman, Justice Tendai Uchena was livid on the arrangement and wondered why a Government department would go to buy State land from an individual.
    “Captain Kurauone , please tell me why an arm of Government like the Army would go and buy State land from an individual, there was indeed cheating if this happened,” said Justice Uchena who is the chair of the Commission.
    Musara told the Commission that the Army through the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Benefit Fund (ZDFBF) only paid for development of the stands. He said he never had a contract for sale of stands to ZDFBF.
    The Commissioners said that Musara was paid about $1,6m by ZDF but Musara said that the figure was around $1,4m because he later gave ZDFBF a discount.
    Capt Kurauone did not produce documents before the Commission because the contracts were signed in Harare and kept at Defence House. He however, promised to bring the papers..
    Commissioner Justice Tendai Uchena asked Kurauone three times on whether they entered into two separate agreements with Wallben to which he answered in the affirmative.
    “Yes we entered into two different agreements with Wallben Investments fronted by Musara, we first bought the land which we subdivided into about 350 stands for our members averaging 200 square metres each and later on added 200 stands more of the same size. There is proof of the two separate payments and the agreements of sale are there in Harare. Our members make monthly contributions of between $75 and $100 from their salaries towards the purchase of stands and their development,” said Kurauone.
    Justice Uchena quizzed Kurauone on why ZNA preferred to buy State land from third parties instead of getting it direct from the State since the Army is an arm of Government.
    “In Masvingo we have not been given State land and those with land approach our offices in Harare with their resumes and they enter into agreements with our seniors. It is true that the arrangement is quite expensive on the beneficiaries hence they have recently made some changes to the system,” said Kurauone.
    He also said they bought 50 more stands in the same area which they are currently doing road openings from Zion Christian Church (ZCC) led by Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi.
    Kurauone also told the Commission that they have since built two roomed houses and the soldiers who applied have taken occupation of their houses.
    Justice Uchena said it is clear that the ZDFBF was cheated as they were not supposed to pay for State land. He said Wallben had no right to sell State land.
    “Wallben misled us that they were only paid for servicing of stands, they have no right to sell State land, ZDFBF was cheated,” he added.

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