Thursday, 1 December 2016


THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has sent 15 middle managers packing as it streamlines operations amid indications that hundreds of employees face retrenchment early next year.

NSSA is expected to make an official announcement about the retrenchments today.
Sources told The Herald yesterday that the affected middle managers cut across all departments.

“As we speak, NSSA has fired 15 managers. The managers are being summoned and given dismissal letters,” said a source. Affected are the human resources manager, finance manager, administration manager, Harare regional manager, an engineer, economist and two audit managers, said the source close to the developments who asked not to be named.

Also sent home are the risk manager and the property manager. “The authority has indicated a number of workers would be retrenched in first quarter of 2017. They are saying they are streamlining,” added the source. “Workers’ morale is rock bottom as we speak.”

The decision to dismiss the middle managers follows a board meeting held on Wednesday.
NSSA board chairperson Mr Robin Vela yesterday confirmed the authority was retrenching a number of managers.

He, however, would not divulge the details, saying an official statement would be released today.

“It is true that we are streamlining. A number of middle managers have been affected. A full statement will be released tomorrow (today) with all the details. Why don’t you wait for tomorrow,” he said.

NSSA is a Government-run pension fund with over $1 billion worth of assets under its management. It is currently the biggest institutional investor on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
Sources also revealed that an audit was underway at NSSA amid indications management and the board have traded accusations over alleged acquisition of properties at inflated prices.

The properties have fail to generate meaningful revenue for the authority as was anticipated when they were purchased.

NSSA fired top executives last year, including its general manager Mr James Matiza and four directors following a forensic audit at the pensions authority.

The Matiza-led management reportedly made questionable investments of $100 million, including buying shares in poorly-run companies and properties at inflated prices.
NSSA management also came under fire for splurging $2,5 million on the now defunct CFX Bank, $12 million on overpriced starafricacorporation shares and $1,5 million on Africom Continental.

At least $45 million was locked up in Interfin Bank at the time of the audit. NSSA also lost $11,2 million worth of land to local authorities after failing to develop it.

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

The changes then followed criticism of the authority over its perceived failure to invest pensioners’ money in areas with significant or meaningful socio-economic value on the lives of beneficiaries.

NSSA was constituted and established in terms of the National Social Security Authority Act of 1989 and so is a statutory corporate body tasked by the Government to provide social security.

The provision of social security can be defined as public policy measures intended to protect an individual in life situations or conditions in which their livelihood and well being may be threatened.

NSSA currently administers two schemes: Pension and Other Benefits Scheme and the Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme. Plans are underway to provide a more comprehensive social security package for the Zimbabwean society. herald


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