POLAD takes on NSSA corruption

Obert Gutu

Participants in the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) spearheaded by President Mnangagwa will discuss the corruption ravaging the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), MDC-T vice president Obert Gutu has said.

NSSA’s forensic audit report which was tabled in Parliament in August exposed shocking corruption, fraud, criminal abuse of office and theft that saw the authority being prejudiced of over US$175 million.

Off-take housing contracts awarded to undeserving companies through corruption have potentially prejudiced NSSA of US$104 million.

In an interview with The Herald today, Mr Gutu said the fact that pensioners were struggling to get a decent pension at the expense of “elites at NSSA” who are abusing millions, was a national embarrassment.

“It is beyond debate that NSSA is a hell hole of deeply embedded corruption,” he said. “It’s actually a national shame and embarrassment that pensioners are struggling to get paid a decent and living pension whilst millions of their hard-earned funds are literally being abused and blown away by the elites at NSSA.

“You can be assured that we’re going to take up the issue of NSSA corruption at POLAD. Some misinformed people out there think that POLAD is just a toothless feeding trough, but they’re completely wrong.”

Mr Gutu said it was worrisome that the relevant authorities were taking a lacklustre approach in dealing with the corruption-ridden authority.
“Surely, something has got to give because this is utterly and totally unacceptable,” he said. “What has happened to the NSSA forensic audit? Why is it taking forever to arrest and prosecute the culprits who looted NSSA fund?

“For as long as the crooks and criminals who looted NSSA continue to be scot-free, then we haven’t even started fighting corruption in Zimbabwe.”

Executives at the authority 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.

Former Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira has since been arrested over corruption at NSSA, while the authority’s board recently sent some executives on forced leave to pave way for investigations after they were implicated in wrongdoing by the forensic audit report. – Herald