Spot News ZW

Zimbabwe News Owls

breaking news Court criminal

Nssa bigwigs booted out in fresh purge

But Fundira said his board was implementing sweeping reforms to plug revenue leakages at Nssa, which he said was ‘in the intensive care unit’.

AT least six National Social Security Authority (Nssa) executives have been booted out since the Emmanuel Fundira-led board came into office last May, as it implements recommendations from an explosive audit that unearthed gross financial irregularities, mismanagement and alleged corruption, the Zimbabwe Independent can report.

Some of the executives and directors tendered their resignations, as Fundira cracked the whip, this newspaper was told.

They joined general manager Arthur Manase, who resigned in September after being suspended in July.

Charles Shava has been acting general manager since Manase’s departure. The Independent was informed that those who have left included  Agnes Masiiwa, director of contributions and compliance, Brian Murewa, who was Nssa’s investments director and Victor Manyowa, executive assistant to the general manager.

Fundira confirmed this week that those sacked had been implicated in the audit, which also exposed how a Cabinet minister allegedly exerted pressure on Nssa to purchase a mansion for him. The forensic audit, which was conducted by AMG Global Chartered Accountants in 2022 to address the rot crippling the entity, also unearthed gross corporate and financial malfeasance at the State-run fund, which is estimated to be superintending over US$1 billion in pensioners’ savings and investments.

But Fundira said his board was implementing sweeping reforms to plug revenue leakages at Nssa, which he said was ‘in the intensive care unit’.

“We implemented everything in the audit,” Fundira told the Independent.

“All the people who were implicated in the audit have since left officially and all the recommendations, which came out of the audit, are being implemented.

“There is now greater stability at Nssa than we ever even dreamt of. Former general manager Manase is gone. (We have) almost like five or six top executives, who have left due to that audit. We have actually implemented the audit to the letter, to the last word.

“I will not tolerate anything different from what we are pronouncing as an organisation.

“We will ensure that our investments are conducted in a prudential manner to give value to everybody, who has contributed their lives (in Nssa). 

“Nssa is in an intensive care unit where the doctor comes to prescribe medicines.

“Some of the medicine can be harsh, but the intention will be to ensure good health,” Fundira said, referring to his new measures.

He said his board was in the process of recruiting for a general manager.

“We want to engage someone by the 1st of May so that we know this chapter is completely closed,” Fundira said.

Nssa is one of the few state institutions with a high executive turnover.

“That will be 365 days since my existence with Nssa. We have cleaned up. I have the target to achieve that level of stability and also making sure that we can deploy our funds prudentially for the benefit of our stakeholders,” he noted.

The audit exposed how hefty amounts were expended on luxury cars, infuriating authorities, who want Nssa to improve payouts to pensioners. The audit said Nssa officials also flew to Kenya for a week-long training workshop, which was supposed to be conducted locally. This prejudiced the fund of substantial revenues. The team, which travelled to Kenya, reportedly received hefty allowances.

Top managers at Nssa were also accused of corruptly recruiting cronies. In its findings, the audit report questioned how decisions were made on some of the Nssa investments. In 2022, the fund was a subject of investigation by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc). In 2019, Nssa was under spotlight after it was reported to have suffered actual financial prejudice of US$7,5 million, while investigators detected potential financial prejudice of US$167,7 million.

This is according to the Zacc report.

It alleged that off-take housing contracts awarded to undeserving companies through what it alleged was corruption could have potentially prejudiced Nssa of US$104 million.

According to the report, Nssa lost US$4,2 million to one bank in an alleged corrupt debt swap deal involving the bank’s property.

The bank also reportedly sold properties to Nssa at highly inflated prices, prejudicing the authority of US$2 million, the Zacc report claimed. It alleged that the Nssa executive management awarded themselves unapproved loans and benefits amounting to US$306 195, while non-executive directors got US$86 322.

In that period, unfair labour practices and the awarding of a golden handshake resulted in Nssa losing US$598 718. Prominent figures were fingered in the scandal that saw Nssa “blindly” releasing close to US$27, 3 million to three construction companies without going to tender, nor did the authority carry out a due diligence exercise, the report alleged.

Source: The Independent-


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *