By Alois Vinga
NATIONAL Social Security Authority (NSSA) this week suspended seven top executives alongside 20 senior managers in a bid to pave way for investigations on issues raised in the audit report released in August this year.
Some of the suspended executives confirmed the recent move to NewZimbabwe.com on condition of anonymity and shared letters, dated October 22.
The letters were signed by the authority’s acting general manager, David Makwara informing them to stop reporting for duty immediately.
Says Makwara in one of the letters, “I write to inform you authority (NSSA) is in the process of conducting an investigation into certain concerns which have been raised by auditors. In order to facilitate the process as well as ensure its integrity, it is necessary that you be placed on indefinite mandatory leave effective upon receipt of this letter.
“The exercise has been authorized by the board resolution of 18th October2019. While this exercise is being carried out, you will continue to receive your full pay and benefits.
“I however regret to advise that during the period of your mandatory leave as a matter of necessity , you are prohibited from visiting any of the authority’s premises and from operating using and logging into the authority’s computer networks as well as any other devices connected thereto, including accessing any documentation belonging to the authority, be it in hard copy of electronic form, without the express written authority of the Acting general manager.”
One of the authority’s executives who spoke to NewZim Business said the authority’s main departments such as Investments, Information Communication Technology, Human Resources, Contributions Legal and Finance were affected in a move he described as unfair.
Said the senior executive, “What boggles the mind is that the audit report has never been shared with NSSA senior management as we got to learn about it through the media. The whole exercise is unfair because these are unproven allegations hence the need to clearly inform us on what is really going on.”
The source alleged Labour Minister, Sekai Nzenza has been meddling in the operations of the authority, giving directives to overturn salary increment resolutions made by the board.
NSSA marketing and communications executive, Tendai Mutseyekwa could not comment on the matter saying he was not aware of the developments.
The move comes following findings by the audit report pointing out NSSA suffered actual financial prejudice to the tune of US$7 536 375, while investigators detected potential financial prejudice of US$167 713 756.
Former Environment Minister Prisca Mupfumira lost her job and spent almost two months in remand prison over fraud allegations connected to the report.
However, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president, Peter Mutasa who was also dismissed from the NSSA board after exposing several scandals, criticised Minister Nzenza for the “blanket suspensions” warning pensioners’ money will be further wasted during the process.
Said Mutasa, “What is happening at NSSA once again shows that serious legislative reforms are urgently needed.
“Ever since the forensic audit was released, the Minister has not had the courtesy to discuss with the tripartite partners. She has not even seen the need to present the same at the Tripartite Negotiation Forum and stakeholders are now just hearing everything from the grapevine.”