Zimbabwe Chess Federation president and former Captain Charles Kuwaza has allegedly committed suicide by jumping from the 9 th floor of the Club Chambers building in Harare, police said.
Kuwaza, a former finance ministry permanent secretary and State Procurement Board chairperson died on Tuesday morning at the building where he had gone to collect “maintenance court papers”.
Sources at the scene of the tragedy said the former SPB boss and Zimbabwe chess federation president went to his office around 11am. His wife who had accompanied then remained in the vehicle.
When the wife made a follow up some 40 minutes later, Kuwaza’s lifeless body was found crushed on the tarmac.
“We were surprised to hear the sound of a falling object when we were at the reception busy watching the independence celebrations through TV,” said another security guard.
ZRP spokesperson Paul Nyathi said he was still gathering information about the tragedy.
“I am on my way to the office from the National Sports Stadium where I had gone for the Independence celebrations; keep in touch with me as I will be looking for the facts,” said Nyathi.
Kuwaza was under investigation by both the police and the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) for corruptly awarding government tenders and evading tax during his tenure at the State Procurement Board.
The former SPB chair is also accused of irregularly giving himself hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries and allowances since 2009.
The tax evasion accusations were raised by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) who said Kuwaza was not remitting his Pay As You Earn (PAYE) while his employees’ were being remitted.
When his tenure of office as the SPB chair ended in 2016, Kuwaza allegedly refused to surrender and official car and other state properties which included a house.
In 2013, Kuwaza is credited for bringing to Zimbabwe former world chess champion Gary Kasparov, considered by many as the greatest player of all time,when he made a brief stopover in Harare yesterday as part of his Kasparov Chess Foundation Global Reach.