|Known for||Corruption Allegations While Chairman at NSSA|
Robin Vela is a Zimbabwean investment banker and business executive most known for his role as Chairman at the National Social Security Authority of Zimbabwe (“NSSA”). He was also a director at First Mutual Wealth (Private) Limited, First Banking Corporation Holdings Limited, and Lonsa Group Limited.
Several allegations of corruption were leveled against him for the period he spent at NSSA.
Vela attended the prestigious Peterhouse High School in Marondera Zimbabwe. Vela then continued his tertiary education in the United Kingdom. He enrolled and graduated with an honours degree in Economics and Accounting from Bristol University. He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the UK Chartered Securities Institute.
In 2016, Robin was appointed to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Member’s Advisory Board for Africa.
Vela is also a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa and the past Patron for the African Institute of Petroleum.
NSSA Chairmanship And Allegations of Corruption
Vela was appointed the chairman of the NSSA board in 2015.
Vela was fired as NSSA board chairman in March 2018 over claims he was not resident in Zimbabwe and held a foreign passport.
Robin Vela, cleared of corruption by court
Former National Social Security Authority (NSSA) chairman Robin Vela has vowed to fight what he sees as abuse of power and official overreach after a court cleared him of corruption.
In July 2019, a forensic audit report of NSSA for the period January 2015 to February 2018, revealed that Vela had engaged in potentially corrupt activities as NSSA chairman. The report alleged Vela had introduced a company called Housing Corporation Zimbabwe (HCZ) to NSSA management and had pressured them to award the company a US $304 million contract for an Off-take housing project without going to tender. The company was also given $16 million advance. HCZ had been registered as a company only a week earlier and had no history of engaging in any construction business in Zimbabwe.
Said part of the 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.
In response to the allegations in the report, Vela said the report was "grossly delinquent, biased, incomplete and targeted." He accused the auditors of ignoring key documents supplied to them in an effort to reach certain conclusions.
Through Lonsa Capital, Firstmile Properties and its affiliates, Robin holds various interests in Resources, Infrastructure, Property, Logistics and various cash generative businesses principally in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Vela is married to Gaudencia Vela.
- Biography, Pension Funds and Alternative investments Africa, Retrieved: 07 Aug 2019
- Tony Karombo, Former NSSA board chairman Vela says audit report ‘biased’ and ‘incomplete’, ZimLive.com, Published:05 Aug 2019, Retrieved: 07 Aug 2019