Senior bosses cream off Nssa

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SENIOR managers at the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) have gobbled US$2 million each in housing loans over the last two years in addition to getting hefty allowances as fresh details into the state of the parastatal emerge.

Hazel Ndebele

james-matiza
An audit for the period August 1 2013 to June 30 2015 carried out by Deloitte Advisory Services, seen by the Zimbabwe Independent, shows that Nssa executives’ salaries and perks exceeded a government cap of US$6 000 raising questions over government’s commitment to rein in parastatals that have been an albatross on cash-strapped Treasury.

Nssa, which has a US$1,2 billion balance sheet, has recently been under fire from struggling pensioners and lawmakers who felt that its meagre payouts to beneficiaries were below the poverty datum line despite investment in banks, the equities market and property.

The social security agency generates surplus contributions in excess of US$10m per month, which it is authorised to invest.
In October last year, Nssa sacked its general manager, James Matiza together with other executives, initiating a restructuring exercise following the appointment of a new board led by Robin Vela.

The minimum monthly payout for the struggling pensioners is at US$60 for old age pension, US$30 for invalidity pension as well as a US$300 funeral grant.

In the two-year period, the report shows Nssa provided loans to executives which include housing loans of between US$1,8m and US$2m each, long service loans for management who do not benefit from housing loans of US$795 523 each, vehicle loan of between US$70 911 and US$185 447 each depending on seniority, as well as personal loans for management of between US$8 427 and US$22 363 each.

The report further shows that as at June 2015, Nssa’s corporate services director earned US$31 926 in monthly salary and allowances, finance director (US$29 340), general manager (US$26 599), contributions and compliance director (US$12 912), investments director (US$11 281), benefits, schemes planning and research director (US$11 230) and information and communication executives (US$9 456).

The chief internal auditor’s basic salary and allowances in August 2013 amounted to US$36 593 which included an outstanding holiday allowances of US$25 163.

The auditors also revealed that in October 2013, Nssa chief internal auditor received a total amount of US$644 314 which included a gratuity of US$624 510.

The report notes that in 2014, Matiza received a bonus of US$33 042.

On December 9 2014, Matiza and corporate services director Tendai Mafunda approved a bonus of US$2,6m, which was to be given on the basis of individual performance evaluations, the report showed.

As at June 30, the authority had a total staff of 786.

Deloitte also recommended that Nssa should review its payroll and executives’ remuneration in line with best practice.

Government in March 2014 set a US$6 000 salary cap on parastatal executives after it emerged that bosses of most institutions were earning mega salaries, despite their loss-making positions.

Former chief executive of the Premier Service Medical Aid Society, Cuthbert Dube, was the highest earner at US$535 000 per month, broken down as US$230 000 basic salary and benefits amounting to US$305 499.

The revelations of the perks enjoyed by Nssa executives come at a time the institution had by June last year lost more than half of its nearly US$700m total investment portfolio due to market volatility, bad deals and mismanagement of public funds.
Nssa’s has investments in the money market, stock exchange, property, short and long-term investments in associated companies and subsidiaries as well as land inventory and deals referred to as “other investments”.

As at June 2015, Nssa’s total investment stood at US$698,74m, the report showed.

“Long-term investments represent long-term loans to various institutions, cumulatively other investments have lost US$12,2m value between 2009 and 2014,” says the report.

The report also revealed that key documents were missing from individual investment files and these include copies of deed of transfers and share certificates, agreements of sale, proposal from sellers, analysis done and recommendations at various levels. It also says that record keeping for Nssa’s properties is manual and maintained on spreadsheets.

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