By Staff Reporter
ACTING National Social Security Authority (NSSA) general manager, Charles Shava has been granted $500 000 bail by Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje following his Thursday arrest for paying out illegal allowances to four doctors.
The doctors allowances were approved under a fictitious board resolution which could prejudice the parastatal ZW$1 billion-plus.
The development comes as the compulsory pension fund’s interim boss had tried to pre-empt the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC)’s proceedings against him by issuing a statement on Saturday to justify his 115% pay increase as a “skills retention scheme” and in defiance of acting board chair Merjury Chinyemba’s memo to reject the incentives about a week ago.
While Shava had tried to justify his actions saying that it had “been difficult to keep medical staff and, so, the move would help curb the perennial loss”, the indictment came as the parastatal’s health director is under investigation for a mortgage financing deal fraud.
Shava has reportedly survived at NSSA on the back of senior government officials, including Willard Manungo’s, support and to a point of frustrating Labour minister Paul Mavima’s plan to rotate interim general managers (GM) under the pretext that it would interfere with AMG Global Accountants’ ongoing forensic audit.
Although ZACC has chosen to dwell on the ZW$12 million figure based on February 17’s salaries, the prejudice could rise to ZW$1,1 billion given that the four doctors were to collect US$6,800 per month for four years.
According to court papers, the committee was to consult the Finance on the proposed amounts before implementation.
Shava then allegedly sent a message to the Human Resources Acting Director, Tambudzai Jongwe on February 14, 2023, and instructed her to proceed and pay the allowances of the doctors with effect from January 1, 2023 despite having knowledge that the conditions set by the Board had not been addressed.
He explained that Jongwe’s concern that the payments had not been approved by the NSSA Finance Committee and the Board had already been fully addressed by the board.
Acting upon the misrepresentation, Jongwe effected the payments of the doctor’s allowances totalling $12 246 571.48.
Shava will be back in court in two weeks for his routine remand.
Meanwhile Shepherd Muperi has been appointed the acting general manager.