NSSA bosses to pay back millions

James Matiza

James Matiza

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
FIVE National Social Security Authority executives sacked last year for gross mismanagement have to pay back more than $1,5 million they awarded themselves as loans and return their company vehicles. This comes as NSSA board chairman Mr Robin Vela revealed that NSSA has come up with a proposed remuneration framework that will see a 25 percent reduction in monthly staff costs.


The proposed framework also focuses on reducing a litany of benefits for managers including allowances for holidays and children’s school fees. The five executives will also return company cars and other assets to the authority. The Retrenchment Board has given NSSA the nod to retrench the executives in an arrangement that will see their commutable pensions and benefits compensating for the loans.

Mr Vela said according to the retrenchment agreement endorsed by the Retrenchment Board, the managers now owed NSSA. “The Retrenchment Board has granted formal authority to retrench on four of the ex-employees, with the other, agreed but yet to be finalised,” he said.

“The mutual agreement was one month’s salary for every year served. The authority was to be paid back loans, taken out by the five, amounting to some $1,1 million. Company cars and other assets were to be returned to the authority or in the case of one bought at market value.”

He added: “The net result was an owing to the authority by the five of some $450 000, which was to be satisfied, firstly by accessing the lump sum cash out of their commutable pensions, and the balance being left on account as housing loans at market interest rates of 11 percent over a 15-year term (provided the bond was registered with NSSA and title deed held by NSSA) and that the value of the property, on a forced sale basis, gave at least two times cover of the loan amount. In short, there will be no massive payout to the five former employees.”

The five are Mr James Matiza (general manager) and directors Mr Shadreck Vera (investments), Mr Patrick Mupani (finance), Mr Tendai Mafunda (corporate services) and Mr Bright Chidyagwai (ICT). A forensic audit revealed that the quintet pampered their lovers with dubious loans and awarded themselves monthly salaries of more than $40 000 each.

The retrenched managers also face prosecution. “Further investigations are underway,” Mr Vela said. “Once they have been concluded and we have consulted with the relevant stakeholders, we will be able to report back on the next course of action.” He said the proposed remuneration framework was in line with the prevailing economic environment and was “equitable and fair to the authority and staff”.

Mr Vela said the new framework, if endorsed, would be effective beginning the second quarter of this year. “It takes into account the reduced contributions as a result of shrinking employment and aims to strike a balance between what we are paying our staff versus our payouts to pensioners,” he said. “In broad terms, the new framework, which is still to be finalised pending consultations with stakeholders, will result in a much needed approximate 25 percent reduction in gross monthly staff costs to the authority.”

He went on: “We have reduced a litany of benefits, such as holiday, education and child school fees among others, and their corresponding costs of administration. We have replaced company cars, with expenses funded by the authority, to an individual vehicle ownership scheme. The employer pension contribution has been reduced from 18 percent of basic salary to 7,5 percent in line with other governmental department caps. Overall, we are moving to towards more of a ‘cost to company” model of employment in line with modern global trends.”

The Matiza-led management made questionable investments of $100 million, including buying shares in poorly-run companies and properties at inflated prices. Mr Vela said a new general manager for the authority would be appointed soon. He said: “Two recruitment agencies, one local (Proserve) and the other international (Stanton Chase), have been appointed, on a joint exclusive basis, to conduct the search for a general manager and senior management team.

“Their brief is to scour the globe for Zimbabweans with integrity, appropriate professional qualifications and experience to take the authority forward.” NSSA management came under fire for splurging $2,5 million in the now defunct CFX Bank, $12 million on overpriced starafrica corporation shares and $1,5 million on Africom Continental.

At least $45 million is locked up in Interfin Bank, which is now under curatorship. NSSA also lost $11,2 million worth of land to local authorities after failing to develop it. The institution also dished out “non-profitable” loans to parastatals such as the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe ($3,1 million), Zesa ($9 million) and Cottco ($8 million).

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  • NSSA Pensioner

    Nothing is being said about the starving pensioners whose funds benefit more to the NSSA employees. If NSSA pensioners are getting peanuts then that should be reflected on the salaries and benefits given to NSSA staff too. Its not only the issue of those fired managers but also the remaining.They cant get remuneration commensurate with the market when benefits to pensioners are paltry! It has sometimes been argued by NSSA that pensions are based on contributions but salaries don`t reflect also the low contributions by pensioners during their working lives. Actuarially , where does NSSA get high market related salaries for its employees if contributions are said to be pegged at low levels. The government ministry that gives oversight on this parastatal is financial too blind. The starving pensioners may just be reading the “Holy Bible parable“ of the rich man and Lazarus while they look forward to an imaginary heaven. Unfortunately the Bible story was created by Holy Jesus in support of the EVIL, i.e. exploitation of man by man. Zvanzi ne shoko ra mwari eat nhoko dezvironda kuti muzofara kudenga dzvene na Jeso KIRISITU! My pain!

    • nhubu

      well i didnt read your whole contribution but i think there is something about a 25% reduction in salaries for the employees to match the prevailing economic environment which shrinked the base. also the other goons lost money but as you know generally pension payouts are sick the world over.

  • Chief Ngungumbane

    I honestly think this should not have been allowed to happen in the first place. However, I am happy to note that people are being made to pay back. In Zvishavane we had a company called SMM being run down by an administrator and former employees being pauperised and we are asking for the government to act without fear or favour. If what happened to SMM in the process of the so called reconstruction was legal was it moral? We have a problem as a nation that we have thrown away our moral compass and tend to confine our selves to purely legalistic interpretations, and hence cause anguish and suffering to our citizens. Something ought to be done to the social decay that followed the demise of SMM and the administrator must answer to why he failed to “reconstruct” Shabanie Mashaba Mines. Why they received and continued to receive money when it was clear the entity was not able to pay its employees let alone fund its operations.

  • Manyuchi

    The problem with NSSA is that the stakeholders are no longer active. ZCTU together with ZFTU as well as EMCOZ have become bystanders. Board members seconded to NSSA are useless. They are not given any specific mandates to represent on the board. On the second note, the search for top executives is done the wrong way. The CEO or general manager of any company must have input in the recruitment of subordinates. Yet NSSA board is currently searching for all top executives before they appoint the CEO. That is wrong because the new CEO will not have chance to have input in the selection of top executives, a wrong start. NSSA should appoint CEO first, then juniors next.


    a similar forensic audit was done at PSMAS which falls under the same ministry with NSSA (Min of Labour, Social Services) but no firing was effected. The ** Munyonga, Mukwesha, Mutasa, Gumbo are still enjoying more benefits at PSMAS. cry my beloved country.

    • Chief Economist

      If you look at PSMAS and NSSA investments assets they are dominated by loans to Chefs! Hence the inability to solve the illness.

  • Rawboy

    That is assuming they still have the money!

    What chances that money has aleady been frittered away?

    • Chief Legal Adviser

      They will try to hide their assets and declare themselves insolvent.

  • Talksure Murevi

    NSSA is just a tip of the iceberg. Let us sweep across all Gvt Depts.

  • E Makhate

    Does anyone in the Zanu government know what is a USDOLLAR. How can someone earn $40000? Salaries of paras total Heads must be pegged at $7000 per month.

    • unknown

      The $40000 salary is all a lie by the way, the nssa directors were in fact getting salaries way lower than the $40000 stated above, too bad zimbabweans will never really know the truth. Reporters are just trying to make headlines with false information. These reporters should be careful though, because if one of these directors decides to sue them then ma one.

  • Gushungo WekuGP

    Easy come easy go. From Borrowdale back to Glenview

  • bhurujena

    many many years ago at NSSA a certain Colin Gatsi was sacked for the same this that is happening today. Problem in our beloved Zimbabwe is we turn a blind eye to these cases only question it kana pane personal interest. the next board will do exactly the same stealing but just differently. Do a one year test case. were the is no board..but senior managers and a CEO.