THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has blasted excessive government interference in the running of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and insisted that stakeholders administer the pensions authority to avoid the abuse of the institution.
Speaking to this publication, ZCTU Secretary General Japhet Moyo said their organisation has been insisting that only stakeholders were supposed to run the board and during their time in the board they made sure every abuse of office was challenged.
“We still insist that stakeholders through an independent Board should be given the autonomy to run the Authority to the benefit of the members who are subscribing,” said Moyo.
He further blasted the government interference in the appointment of board members through the minister saying the powers to appoint and fire board members by the minister gives room for abuse of office.
“The excessive power given to the Ministry to appoint or remove bonafide stakeholder representatives is retrogressive. The vetting done by the OPC (Office of the President and Cabinet) curtails genuine representation,” he said.
Moyo blasted the government for denying the trade unions a seat in the NSSA board despite the NSSA Act recognizing trade unions as stakeholders.
“We are a stakeholder in terms of the Act. We have given the Ministry our preferred nominees, albeit with restrictions.
Whether it is Mupfumira or anyone else who doesn’t want our preferred nominee, we still have a stake in NSSA. It is a matter of time before we are back in the Board whether they want us or not,” Moyo further said.
Moyo further said ZCTU was not surprised with the results of the NSSA forensic audit report because the same issues in the report where the same issues that the organisation was raising during the time of Peter Mutasa as board member.
According to ZCTU, the presence of subscribers in the board will work as a check of balance to those in power – a situation that will ensure accountability and transparency in the board.
“During the time we were in the Board, we gave the Minister and the Chairman sleepless nights, we wanted good governance and we demanded sound investment and good return of our investments. And we hope to continue from where we left,” said Moyo.
ZCTU president Peter Mutasa was fired from the NSSA Board in 2017 by the Prisca Mupfumira led ministry for accusations of failing to uphold confidential information.
The minister and former chairman Robin Vela accused Mutasa of leaking board minutes to ZCTU.