By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has blamed President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the unending rot at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
The labour union’s statement comes amid calls for a more serious approach at finding a lasting solution to the NSSA crisis.
ZCTU’s remarks follow recent reports that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) had invaded and camped at NSSA’s headquarters in Harare to investigate complaints of alleged malpractices, corruption, corporate governance failures, among other issues.
The allegations fly in the face of NSSA general manager, Arthur Manase, who pledged to end the culture of corruption which has bedeviled the authority since its inception.
Speaking exclusively to NewZimbabwe.com Thursday, ZCTU acting secretary general, Runesu Dzimiri layed into Mnangagwa for failing to find a lasting solution to the problems.
“Corruption scandals at NSSA are no longer newsworthy. They have become a permanent staple theme; it appears President Emmerson Mnangagwa is fueling the rot by continuously failing to find a lasting solution.
“What saddens us is the continued silence by top authorities despite the “movie style” embezzlement of funds,” Dzimiri said.
The trade unionists questioned the rationale behind the appointment of an “equally suspicious” and compromised labour ministry to serve as a co-investigator into the alleged corruption allegations.
“It is our considered view that the ministry is compromised and cannot be part and parcel of the investigations as it oversees the operations of NSSA. More so, it would have been prudent to dissolve the board and allow unfettered investigations into the goings on in NSSA,” said Dzimiri.
The ZCTU is credited for playing a pivotal role in the establishment of the authority after realising that most ordinary workers had no comprehensive social security cover and policies to protect workers during sickness, injuries at work and other uncertainties.
Dzimiri criticised NSSA for ignoring its critical role of mobilising savings for the payment of social security, and economic development of Zimbabwe.
He accused it of taking a more pronounced slant towards infrastructural investment, to payment of social benefits.
“What hurts us the most is that pensioners, who toiled for decades contributing to the fund, are earning peanuts and living in abject poverty while a cartel of criminals’ are creaming off their sweat?
“We are also worried by the sustained trend of “catch and release” when dealing with suspects who have embezzled NSSA funds in the past. As key stakeholders we demand a permanent end to the chaos. We have zero tolerance on corruption,” he added.
When contacted for comment earlier, NSSA spokesperson, Tendai Mutseyekwa, downplayed the allegations, describing them as a ploy to tarnish the company’s management.
“Most of the issues raised are baseless. They appear to be a ploy by insiders who are keen to destabilise the smooth flow of the organisation,” he said.