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Govt forcing NSSA to rescue failed bank

Government cash cow ... The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) office in Harare

25/02/2014 00:00:00
by The Source
Investment suggestion ... Patrick Chinamasa
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NSSA payouts up 51pc to $84m
Biti told NSSA to put $20m in failed bank

AN unnamed Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) board member recently wrote to finance minister Patrick Chinamasa suggesting that the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) inject more funds to resuscitate the failing Capital Bank.

Subsequently, the finance ministry wrote to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare requesting that it persuades NSSA to invest $40 million to save the bank.

This was revealed by NSSA general manager James Matiza during a hearing before legislators in Harare on Monday.

NSSA also invested some $24 million, rising to $39 million into the bank following a directive by former finance minister Tendai Biti, with the State-run pension scheme admitting that investment was lost.

“We want to get out of this bank, as to what will happen to the $39 million, we many not recover some of it,” said Matiza.

“I don’t think it’s a wise idea to put more money. We may be compelled but our brief to the minister (of finance) is to let liquidation take place.”

Capital Bank was part of Patterson Timba’s business empire which collapsed in 2011 in a cloud of poor corporate governance allegations. Timba is the brother of top MDC-T official Jameson Timba.

Matiza said he received another letter dated February 21, 2014 from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe saying it was not happy to cancel the bank’s licence.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Hurungwe North, Rueben Marumahoko questioned why the initial directive by the finance ministry was issued to NSSA and not to the parent ministry.

“What would he (Matiza) do as a small man but to accept the directive? I sympathise with him,” he said.

MP for Lobengula, Sipepa Nkomo concurred saying that Matiza should have sought clearance from his ministry before investing into Capital Bank.

“The dollar you are entrusted with belongs to the worker and it’s not the minister’s money.

“You failed to protect our money and continue to put more money in a bad investment. You should resign,” Sipepa Nkomo said.

“Let’s liquidate the damn bank and get on,” said Bulawayo South legislator, Eddie Cross.

Matiza maintained that that he had advised the ministry not to invest.

Timba, Matiza said was opposed to the liquidation of the bank and wanted it back on grounds that it was undervalued at takeover.


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