Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) board has sent 24 executives on forced leave to pave way for investigations after they were implicated in wrongdoing by the recently published forensic audit report.
In an interview yesterday, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza could neither confirm nor deny the developments, but a document seen by The Herald shows that 24 executives had been affected.
The document is believed to have been authored by NSSA board chairman Dr Cuthbert Chidoori.
Minister Nzenza, however, said the board would act on the recommendations of lawyers who unpacked the audit report.
“The board is taking necessary action based on recommendations from the expert lawyers who unpacked the forensic report,” said Minister Nzenza.
“To date, the chairman and the board have stated that all current staff who are implicated in the forensic report will be asked to go on mandatory leave for an indefinite period, to give ample time for the board to deal with the issues raised against them.”
Minister Nzenza said after the investigations, those found to have committed offences will be fired, while those cleared will return to work.
“As soon as the responses are received, they will be analysed to determine whether the employees should be reinstated or not,” she said.
“The board is working closely with relevant lawyers. The ministry continues to ensure that good corporate governance is followed.”
Minister Nzenza said sending implicated staffers on forced leave was part of a process aimed at reforming NSSA, which she said is a “long-term project”.
A team of expert lawyers and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) are looking into all issues raised against current employees, with the board steering the process.
The courts will deal with any issues that fall under their purview.
The forensic audit report unearthed shocking corruption, fraud, criminal abuse of office and theft that saw the authority being prejudiced of over US$175 million.
Executives are alleged to have awarded themselves unapproved loans and benefits to the tune of US$306 195, while non-executive directors got US$86 322. The forensic audit report also exposed unfair labour practices, including cases where those that performed badly during interviews got jobs at the expense of those who excelled.