Suspended University of Zimbabwe boss arrested over 27 fresh fraud allegations

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By Court Reporter

SUSPENDED University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice Chancellor, Levi Nyagura was Friday dragged to court facing 27 abuse of office counts, crimes he allegedly committed when he was still the higher learning institution’s boss.

Nyagura was picked up on Thursday by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officers.

He was Friday released on $500 bail coupled with reporting conditions.

Nyagura, who was not asked to plead, is being charged together with UZ top officials, Lazarus Mabvira and James Chipendo.

“Sometime between the period 2015 and 2018 at the UZ, the trio connived on various occasions to prejudice the university of substantial amounts of money by ‘dubiously’ awarding tenders for services needed by the university,” read state papers.

Court also heard UZ also received services of cutting down five trees from Tynwald Sawmills, a company that was awarded a tender outside due diligence requirements.

It is alleged that Tynwald Sawmills was paid $9 950 but there was neither security check nor storekeepers’ signature to confirm that the services were rendered.

On another occasion, the trio allegedly connived to split a tender of a single procurement into two purchases each below the competitive bidding threshold of $10 000.

They awarded the two contracts to Tynwald Sawmills without going to formal tender as required by the law.

On November 6, they awarded services to Tynwald Sawmills without solicitation for quotations from at least three competitive bidders as Tynwald and Frenzy were owned by the same people while Bright Tree Cutters was not a registered company.

Mabvira raised a purchase worth $49 950 in favour of Tynwald and he also made a goods received voucher on November 1 2015, acknowledging the services that had been rendered to the university.

On November 13, 2015 the university transferred the money into Tynwald Sawmills’s CBZ account.

Nyagura and Mabvira allegedly did the same thing with the cutting down of trees around the university in which they allegedly favoured Tynwald Sawmills and other companies without soliciting the required amount of quotations in total. They spent more than $200 000 on illegal contacting.

The under fire former UZ CEO also has another case before the court being that of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly awarded a “bogus” PhD to former first lady Grace Mugabe.

The trial has been stayed after he approached the Constitutional Court challenging the authority of special anti-corruption unit to prosecute him.

He will be back in court on December 12 pending trial.