Chegutu Municipality’s 1974 council records have confirmed that the 529-hectare piece of land reportedly sold to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) by businessman, Philip Chiyangwa belongs to the local authority.
The land, also known as Hinton Ville Extension, has courted controversy after Auditor-General (AG), Mildred Chiri, in her 2016 report disclosed that NSSA was failing to effect the transfer of the property because it had no title deeds.
Early this week, NewsDay established that NSSA bought the land from Chiyangwa in 2003 and paid $3,5 million without conducting due diligence.
Chegutu town clerk, Alex Mandigo said the property had always belonged to the municipality and was never sold to Chiyangwa at any point.
“The land was given to the municipality in 1974 at its inception by the State. Chiyangwa claims he bought the piece of land, but there are no records of such a transaction at council. Chiyangwa has failed to back up his claim to the land by producing papers proving the transaction,” Mandigo said.He said the government once investigated the matter and declared the transaction null and void.
“There was an investigation by the government which proved that the land was irregularly acquired and declared the purported transaction null and void,” Mandigo said.
Chiyangwa yesterday was apoplectic when asked to prove his ownership of the land.
“You have now left NSSA and the AG. You are now mad. Stop texting this number or I will block you,” he fumed.
NSSA chairman, Robin Vela yesterday said:”This transaction was done in 2003, we are still retrieving all the documents. We are advised that (law firms) Sawyer and Mkushi as well as DMH (Dube, Manikai and Hwacha) acted for NSSA at the time.”
NSSA is believed to have concluded the land deal with Chiyangwa’s business investment vehicle known as Gabroc Investments (Pvt) Ltd.