Zimbabwe's former finance minister Biti implicated in $30m NSSA scam – report

Zimbabwe's former finance minister Tendai Biti is reportedly under investigation by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for allegedly instructing the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to deposit over $30m into two banks which have since collapsed.

According to state-owned Herald, ZACC investigations committee head commissioner Goodson Nguni told journalists during a briefing this week that Biti was under investigation for depositing over $30m into Interfin Merchant Bank and Renaissance Bank on separate occasions.

"Mr (James) Matiza (former NSSA general manager) claims that he was instructed by somebody at the Ministry of Finance (Mr Biti) during the government of national unity to deposit the money into the bank when it was known that the bank was distressed and was about to be closed," Nguni was quoted as saying by Herald.

Former directors of NSSA were also under investigation for giving themselves loans worth millions of dollars with some of the bankers also externalising money which they allegedly bought houses with in South Africa, Daily News reported.  

Major investments were also allegedly made by NSSA by using pension funds (which were lost in the process) to build Harare's Joina City Mall. 

Critics of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government are reportedly saying Biti is a victim of a witchhunt being led against opposition members who dismissed Mnangagwa's election as president as not being free and fair.

Biti was appointed as finance minister in 2009 through a unity government after disputed elections between former president Robert Mugabe and late prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai. 

Biti was removed from office with the dissolvement of the power-sharing government in 2013, allegedly leaving the government with a domestic debt of almost $5bn. 

"You still remember when we had the government of national unity there used to be talk of 'eating what you kill' under the Biti-Gono (former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono) era," former deputy finance minister Terrence Mukupe was quoted as saying by Daily News. 

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