NSSA audit: Ex-Ministers, top executives face probe

The scandal-ridden National Social Security Authority (NSSA) is yet again under scrutiny for mismanagement of funds by top officials including former ministers.

The Zim Morning Post is reliably informed that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Serious Fraud Unit has since started investigating cases of fraud and mismanagement of funds as exposed in a forensic audit report for period 2014-2017.

Zim Morning Post can authoritatively reveal that CID is keen to investigate top officials and former ministers including self exiled Patrick Zhuwao.

Zhuwao who was  the then minister of Public Service minister in 2017 is reportedly alleged to have arm-twisted the  NSSA board then chaired by Robin Vela to release $78 million  for national housing projects in a development that fleeced NSSA.

The contract was given to a private company without going to  tender.

It was awarded to a company called Drepmesh Construction owned by former first lady Grace Mugabe’s sister Junior Shuvai Gumbochuma .

Police sources revealed that arrests will take place as soon CID is done with their investigations.

“We are investigating cases of fraud and mismanagement of funds which happened at NSSA between the period of 2014-2017, we have gone through the forensic audit and it implicates the top officials, some of whom left NSSA.

Our sources also told this publication that former minister Prisca Mupfumira will also be interrogated by police.

This issue of NSSA is a bit complicated as some people who are being implicated in the audit report are ministers, top government officials and executives, so we are in a fix since some of the funds are said to have been channeled towards Zanu PF activities during the Mugabe era,” said our source.

NSSA is a scheme where workers’ salaries are deducted to pay their pensions but of late it has been difficult for pensioners to access their pensions.

Zim Morning Post will release names of individuals who are being investigated and those who are implicated in the audit report.

Scandals have haunted NSSA to the extent that Auditor-General Mildred Chiri raised concern in the manner finances were handled at the institution. She revealed that NSSA bosses in May 2016 awarded themselves hefty salaries without the consent of the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry as required.

Chiri, in her 2016 audit reports on State enterprises and parastatals, said: “I observed that management’s contracts had amounts that were in excess of the approved framework by the secretary for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare in May 2016.”

The unapproved salary increases were noted in NSSA grades E2 and E3.

For example, one manager in grade E2 had an approved salary framework of $7 775,13, but his basic salary on his employment contract was $11 000, which then gave a variance of $3 224,87.

Another manager in salary scale E3 had an approved salary of $6 240,04, but was earning an unapproved amount of $9 000.

Chiri said the risk of such behaviour by NSSA managers was financial loss due to excessive costs at the institution that manages public pension funds.

She recommended that the authority should recover the excess payouts or seek approval from the parent ministry.

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