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NSSA draws up GM’s shortlist

Staff Writer

THE National Social Security Authority (Nssa) has shortlisted at least three potential candidates for the general manager’s post, long vacated by Claudius Chonzi.

Company insiders told businessdigest this week that former Zimnat Lion managing director George Dikinya is also in the running for the job.

Also featuring on the list are two Nssa-linked executives; James Matiza, the pensions’ body’s finance manager and a former general manager-designate Simon Baloyi.

Nssa chairman Edwin Manikai would not comment on the headhunting process this week, insisting that it has always been their policy to fill up the opening — almost half a decade after the then general manager left in controversial circumstances.

However, businessdigest managed to talk to Dikinya, who gave a veiled confirmation of his inclusion.

“I don’t know how current your information is. That process (of my selection as well) was overtaken by events as far as I understand,” the former Zimnat boss said on Tuesday.

“(Really) I don’t know how you got that (I am one of the applicants). All I know is they (Nssa) have been recruiting, but I can’t comment,” he added.

Surprisingly, though, long-serving acting general manager Amod Takawira did not seek consideration for the job.

Nssa sources said the stand-in manager was content with his designated duties.

The prolonged absence of a substantive general manager at Nssa has caused perennial problems between government, organised labour, mainly through the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and sometimes parliament.

Allegations of abuse of power and office often made headlines at Nssa in recent years, especially in relation to investments.

And the multi-billion dollar pension fund — compulsorily set up by government in the 90s — became the subject of a parliamentary scrutiny exercise in late 2004.

Legislators wanted to know Nssa’s investment policy and ascertain charges that Manikai — in charge since January 2001 — had overbearing powers in the absence of an accounting executive manager or head.

Slow decision-making processes in government and the widely suspected tact by successive Social Welfare ministers to appoint their proxies have been attributed to delays over the appointment of a substantive head at Nssa.

Nssa, coming out of the consolidation of the former Workers’ Compensation Fund and the National Pensions Scheme, has grown assets from tens of thousands of dollars to $500 billion, owing to a “robust, but careful” expansion programme.

Meanwhile, former Zimnat Life managing director Oliver Mtasa is headed for SMM Holdings Ltd.

Mtasa confirmed to this paper that he was heading for Batanai Gardens, the troubled asbestos and industrial firm’s headquarters.

“Yes, that is what is on the ground, but it’s not convenient for me say a lot,” he said on Tuesday.

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