AT a time when pensioners are getting a paltry 80 dollars per month, senior managers at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) reportedly paid themselves more than 300 percent in annual bonuses for 2017.
According to documents in our possession, the non-performance related bonuses saw some of the managers taking home a whopping $90 000 each, enough to pay about 100 pensioners.
A confidential letter by suspended NSSA General Manager, Liz Chitiga, responding to complaints by non-managerial staff over the hefty bonuses for senior managers, revealed that the NSSA board had pressed her to pay them 360 percent bonuses.
“I am writing to advise you that the Board, using its discretion has decided to reward all management and will be paying a bonus for 2017.This bonus award is a result of improved performance of the Authority during 2017 and the general uptick in service delivery. It is not a reflection of individual performance,” reads the letter in part.
Chitiga did not dispute the accusations by the non-managerial workers that management had demanded bonuses that were 3.6 times their salaries.
The non-managerial staff had written to Chitiga in a letter dated January 25, 2018, to register their complaints over alleged discrimination in the awarding of bonuses by the pensions authority.
“In your letter to employees dated December 1 2017, you stated that, the board using its discretion has decided to reward all employees a bonus for 2017 .This bonus award is a result of the 2017 performance of the authority. It is therefore alleged that management paid themselves bonuses which were 3, 6 times their basic monthly salaries in the absence of scientific performance related measurement system.
“As a result, the workers urge that the same factor should have been applied to their bonus since individual performance was not considered. The factor should have been effected across the board and this is premised as unfair labour practice,” the non-managerial staff charged.
But in her response to the non-managerial staff request, Chitiga defended the awarding of the discretionary bonus saying it had been communicated by the Board chairman in the 4th Quarter chairman’s statement dated December 1 2017.
“..The bonus award was submitted to and approved by the parent ministry. The board exercised its discretion in line with its mandate and as stipulated in the Employment Conditions of service,” she said.
NSSA has been accused of concentrating on non-core business at the expense of pensioners who were now living miserable lives without any meaningful safety nets.
The pension’s authority has also been accused of investing in shady deals which were not its core-business and losing millions of dollars in pensioners’ savings in the process.