PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office has a received a new dossier on alleged corruption at the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) delivered this week by Norton Member of Parliament Themba Mliswa, it has been established.
By Bernard Mpofu
Mliswa, who has emerged as a self-styled corruption-buster using his position as parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy chairperson as well as his influence on micro-blogging site Twitter, distributed the dossier to Mnangagwa’s office and other top workplaces.
The report was also hand-delivered to Vice-Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi; Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi; Labour and Social Welfare minister Petronella Kagonye; Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu; Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda; Prosecutor-General Ray Goba; Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga; Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission; and Central Intelligence Organisation boss Isaac Moyo, among other senior officials.
Of late, Mliswa has been on controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo and senior government officials’ cases over alleged corruption activities.
The Nssa corruption dossier, titled The Abuse and Capture of National Social Security Authority, relates a series of alleged corruption activities, including the authority’s role in funding a local commercial bank without following due processes. The report says government could have lost millions of dollars in the alleged corrupt activities.
It names senior government officials and other private sector players who allegedly benefitted from corrupt deals. However, the accused officials were not given a chance to respond. The Zimbabwe Independent could also not locate them at the time writing.
“It would appear that corruption has been perpetrated over a protracted period of time at Nssa with impunity. As a Member of Parliament, I have been approached by numerous people from across the board and inundated with complaints and evidence, hence my submission herein,” Mliswa wrote to Mnangagwa in a letter dated April 25, 2018.
“I therefore hereby humbly submit the attached documents to prompt a full scale investigation into the allegations as detailed in the documents. It would be prudent for a forensic audit to follow the entire paper trail of the transactions as there are allegations of the existence of offshore accounts which would add credence to the corrupt affairs. I trust that the above is in order and that your esteemed office may deal with the matter accordingly.”
Mliswa in the dossier further claims that evidence at hand suggests Nssa had been “captured by a mafia-like cabal” which includes government ministers, businessmen and other players.
“These people are believed to be responsible for the rampant abuse of public funds in parastatal institutions on a massive scale,” reads the dossier in part.
The Norton MP, according to the report, also blamed the problems at national flag carrier Air Zimbabwe conflicts of interest among former board members, a local bank and its executives.
“Whilst there may very well be people serving prison sentences for crimes that occurred at the national airline, they are merely, but scapegoats for the underlying criminal conduct committed by those that were at the helm of the institution,” Mliswa wrote.
Turning to the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), Mliswa alleged the control Universal Services Fund (USF), which moved from the Office of the President to the authority, was meant to benefit some directors at Potraz.
He said US$3 million was paid to local lawyers as “advisory fees” for the Telecel transaction. The attorneys allegedly in turn paid kickbacks to government officials who had facilitated the deal.
Nssa bought Vimpelcom’s 60% shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe for government through Zarnet two years ago for US$30 million.
“Potraz was used to provide US$10 million to Zarnet, which used the money as a deposit for payment of shares in the mobile company Telecel. This was an illegal transaction,” Mliswa wrote.
“One must wonder whether Econet and the International Telecommunications Union, and other local players that contribute to USF are aware of these illegalities.”
On the transaction between Nssa and a local commercial bank, Mliswa said a former Nssa official had directed the release of US$62 million in Treasury Bills to the bank “without any official documentation”. He said the bank eventually returned US$27 million after being pressured by Kagonye.
“The balance of US$37 million remains outstanding and still needs to be properly accounted for. Suggestion has it that the outstanding balance may be being rolled over in the market,” Mliswa wrote.
Mliswa also claimed Nssa officials with strong links to some senior government officials had also played a role in appointing proxies at CBZ Holdings who would in turn protect their corrupt activities.
A former Nssa official, according to the report, pressurised management into entering into a housing offtake agreement with Housing Corporation Africa in which at least 2000 houses would be built, with Nssa as the off-taker. “This was done before management could conduct any form of business due diligence analysis to confirm the viability of the project,” Mliswa said.
He also accused to the former Nssa official of providing insider information to a foreign investor who prejudiced the state of investment income. The Nssa official was, according to the report, victimised officials from the social security agency who questioned his investment decision and leadership style.
Mliswa also cited the purchase of the information technology system for the NBS Bank as a conflicted transaction involving a company linked to the former Nssa official. Nssa is the majority shareholder in NBS.
The MP demanded that Mnangagwa must order a forensic audit at Nssa to investigate the allegations.