Source: Govt fires Nssa chair – The Zimbabwe Independent March 29, 2018
THE National Social Security Authority (Nssa) board chair Robin Vela was yesterday fired for allegedly not being ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe amid a series of other claims against him.
By Hazel Ndebele
Labour and social welfare minister Petronella Kagonye fired Vela through a letter written to him yesterday.
“Acting in terms of the Nssa Act chapter 17:04 Section 8(a), I wish to advise you that you have been withdrawn as a member and chairman of the Nssa board with immediate effect,” Kagonye wrote.
It has also emerged that Vela was supposed to chair a board meeting today.
In a statement on his dismissal yesterday, Vela, whose term was supposed to end in June, said: “The dismissal follows a series of sustained attacks on my person including false and libellous allegations of fraud, participation in fictitious transactions, outrageous claims of harassment among others. Let me for the record state that I have discharged my duties to the best of my abilities in an honest, open and accountable manner since my appointment in 2015.”
“The record of achievements that my board have made is there for all to see including addressing corporate governance deficiencies, refocusing the investment philosophy, managing operating costs and ultimately putting the authority on a path to sustainable growth. Throughout the process I have encountered intense resistance, natural with any transition, but have not allowed that to cow me into it shirking my responsibilities. Not everyone will agree with my methods, but where I acted, I did so in good faith and on the belief that I was doing the job for which I was appointed.”
Section 8 of the Nssa Act which was used to fire Vela deals with disqualification for appointment as a member and states: “A person shall not be appointed as a member and no person shall be qualified to hold office as a member who — (a) Is not ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe.”
“The above allegation is not true as I am Zimbabwean, resident in Zimbabwe, I hold a Zimbabwean passport, my children attend school here, my wife resides in this country and I have businesses that I run from here,” said Vela.
“I’m fully aware that I serve at the pleasure of the minister of Labour and Social Welfare and can look back with pride at what the Nssa board achieved during my tenure, which began in July 2015. The board embarked on a transformation journey, which began with a restructuring exercise in the fourth quarter of 2015 that led to management team renewal, restructuring of board committees, the introduction of conscionable remuneration framework and strict adherence to corporate governance dictates,” he said.
Vela said during his tenure as board chair, the authority made significant achievements as reflected by the financial growth in surplus of 638% from US$19,5 million in 2015 to US$144,2 million in 2017.
He says the growth in surplus was achieved through a tight management of operating costs.
“I therefore bow out with my head held high, knowing I gave my all to the authority and my country. I wish the Nssa board, management and staff success,” he said