NSSA Corruption Scandal (2019)
In 2019, HCZ was among the companies that were revealed to have been involved in corruption at NSSA from the period January 2015 to February 2018. According to an audit report, just one week after being registered as a company, HCZ was awarded a $304 million contract by NSSA for an off-take agreement to build 8,000 houses in Caledonia, Zimbabwe. By the time of the report in 2018, the company had not built a single house. Some houses were eventually built in 2018.
Said a section of the audit report:
HCZ got favourable treatment from. NSSA after it was introduced to NSSA by the then Board Chairperson, Mr Vela. Mr. Vela put pressure on NSSA officials to fast track the awarding of the contract. The favourable treatment to HCZ is evidenced by the following;
- The company was awarded a contract of US$304 million without going to tender when it was a week old (i.e. from date of incorporation).
- The contract was awarded without following NSSA due process. No due diligence or investment appraisal was done.
- HCZ had no track record of executing projects of the same magnitude. • HCZ was given the contract despite not having title to the land.
- NSSA entered into an off-take housing agreement with HCZ. HCZ intended to acquire 3 pieces of land for the purpose of constructing 8,000 (eight thousand) housing units. The housing units were to be constructed in phases of 2,000 (two thousand) over a space of 30 months. The contract had a cost of US$304 million which translates to US$38,000 per housing unit.
- NSSA paid a deposit of US$16 million towards the project.