Nssa reaps little from investments


Conrad Dube

THE National Social Security Autho-rity (NSSA) has been overwhelmed by the properties it has already acquired resulting in it collecting rentals that are bel

ow market rates, parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts has said.


In its report on the social security authority for the period ended December 31, 2002 presented to parliament on Wednesday, the committee said NSSA had also failed to complete projects and has to contend with properties that are not properly maintained.


NSSA’s structures have been deteriorating right before the eyes of management who are reluctant to refurbish the properties.


“It was disheartening to note that the returns reflected in management reports are far below budgeted targets, which in fact are well below market rates,” the committee said.


Contrary to NSSA’s claims that it wants a presence in every province through its upmarket structures, there is no clear policy on the development of the rural areas by the authority, the report said.


The Public Accounts Committee is chaired by Movement for Democratic Change legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.


The committee castigated NSSA for lacking aggression and proactiveness in conducting its business as evidenced by the fragile accountability of the Fund’s activities which it referred to as “extremely weak”.


The report also noted that NSSA “plays an arm’s length inspection role for resources it channels through middlemen such as the National Investment Trust, Indigenous Business Women’s Organisation, Small Enterprise Development Corporation and the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce.


“This has resulted in incomplete and inaccurate records noted in the 2003 accounts. It also includes lack of equity in the distribution of resources among borrowers,” the public accounts committee noted.


The report was prepared after the portfolio committee quizzed the authority’s board and management over its operations.


The committee also queried why some of NSSA’s properties were operating below the rate of return and why it was paying out meagre allowances to beneficiaries, among other issues.The committee also probed why there has not been a substantive general manager for four years.


The post has been readvertised at the instigation of the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Paul Mangwana, chairperson Edwin Manikai told the portfolio committee last month.


Manikai told the committee that his board had recommended the top two applicants to Public Service and Labour minister Mangwana.


Manikai said there were no reasons given for the new development.

The committee also grilled the chairman over issues of operating on an unauthorised capital and expenditure budget for the past three years.


Currently NSSA is said to receive $13 billion monthly and pays out $6 billion in the same period. The monetary value of the fund stands at $506 billion.