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Fired NSSA bosses ordered to repay $1,5 million

by Felex Share
29 Feb 2016 at 06:21hrs | Views
FIVE National Social Security Authority executives sacked last year for gross mismanagement have to pay back more than $1,5 million they awarded themselves as loans and return their company vehicles.

This comes as NSSA board chairman Robin Vela revealed that NSSA has come up with a proposed remuneration framework that will see a 25 percent reduction in monthly staff costs.

The proposed framework also focuses on reducing a litany of benefits for managers including allowances for holidays, education and children's school fees. The five executives will also surrender other assets to the authority.

The Retrenchment Board has given NSSA the nod to retrench the executives in an arrangement that will see their commutable pensions and benefits compensating for the loans.

Vela said according to the retrenchment agreement endorsed by the Retrenchment Board, the managers now owed NSSA. "The Retrenchment Board has granted formal authority to retrench four of the ex-employees while the case of the other employee is yet to be finalised," he said.

Vela said the mutual agreement was that the managers would be paid a severance package of one month's salary for every year served.

He said the managers will pay back the loans they advanced themselves. Vela added that the managers would return company cars and other assets to the authority.

The five are James Matiza (general manager) and directors Shadreck Vera (investments), Patrick Mupani (finance), Tendai Mafunda (corporate services) and Bright Chidyagwai (ICT).

A forensic audit revealed that the quintet pampered their lovers with dubious loans and awarded themselves monthly salaries of more than $40,000 each. The retrenched managers also face prosecution.

"Further investigations are underway," Vela said. "Once they've been concluded and we've consulted with the relevant stakeholders, we'll be able to report back on the next course of action."

Vela said the proposed remuneration framework was in line with the prevailing economic environment and was "equitable and fair to the authority and staff." Vela said the new framework, if endorsed, would be effective beginning the second quarter of this year.

"It takes into account, the reduced contributions as a result of shrinking employment and aims to strike a balance between what we're paying our staff versus our payouts to pensioners," he said.

"In broad terms, the new framework, which is still to be finalised pending consultations with stakeholders, will result in a much needed approximate 25 percent reduction in gross monthly staff costs to the authority."

He went on: "We've reduced a litany of benefits, such as holiday, education and child school fees among others, and their corresponding costs of administration. We've replaced company cars with expenses funded by the authority to an individual vehicle ownership scheme. The employer pension contribution has been reduced from 18 percent of basic salary to 7,5 percent in line with other government departments caps. Overall we're moving towards more of a "cost to company" model of employment in line with modern global trends."

The Matiza-led management made questionable investments of $100 million, including buying shares in poorly-run companies and properties at inflated prices.

Vela said a new general manager for the authority would be appointed soon. He said: "Two recruitment agencies have been appointed to conduct the search for a general manager and senior management team.

"Their brief is to scour the globe for Zimbabweans with integrity, appropriate professional qualifications and experience to take the Authority forward."

NSSA management came under fire for splurging $2,5 million in the now defunct CFX Bank, $12 million on overpriced Star Africa Corporation shares, and $1,5 million on Africom Continental.

At least $45 million is locked in Interfin Bank, which is now under curatorship. NSSA also lost $11,2 million worth of property to local authorities for failing to develop them.

The institution also dished out "non-profitable" loans to parastatals such as National Oil Company of Zimbabwe ($3,1 million), Zesa ($9 million) and Cottco ($8 million).

Source - chronicle
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