Source: Anti-Corruption Commission descends on NSSA bosses – Sunday News Dec 4, 2016
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating former National Social Security Authority executives over shady investments which could have prejudiced the authority of millions of dollars.
Nssa board chair Mr Robin Vela told our Harare Bureau that they were also roping in the police.
According to a forensic audit on the acquisition of Celestial Office Park, Nssa was prejudiced of about US$13 million while tender procedures were flagrantly flouted.
Auditors identified former general manager Mr James Matiza, investments director Mr Shadreck Vera and property investments manager Mr Samuel Chiduza as those liable for the investment boob.
Mr Vela said, “The board noted that; (a) the findings of the report (forensic audit) were of such grave and disturbing nature to warrant the board taking serious (commensurate) action. (b) That the board needed to send a clear message not only to current senior Nssa executives but to other national institutions entrusted with public funds as well.
“Cognisant of the above, and the lack of co-operation with Grant Thornton by the former Nssa executives, the board resolved to report the matter to the relevant legal authorities. The above has been done in concurrence and with the consent of the Minister (Cde Prisca Mupfumira).”
Although Zacc acting secretary Senior Assistant Commissioner Silas Pondo and Commissioner in charge of Investigations Mr Goodson Nguni declined commenting yesterday, reliable sources revealed that investigators were keen on interviewing the former Nssa executives.
“We have already gone through the Nssa forensic audit and action is certainly going to be taken against those who flouted the law,” said a Zacc official.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could not immediately comment as it was unclear whether Nssa had already made a police report or not.
Nssa was constituted and established in terms of the Nssa Act of 1989 (Chapter 17:04) and is a statutory corporate body tasked by the Government to provide social security.
It administers pensions and other benefits schemes as well as the Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme.
However, the parastatal has been under the spotlight for the wrong reasons, particularly related to shambolic investments which prejudiced the authority of close to US$100 million. The Matiza-led executive bought Celestial Office Park in Harare for US$32 million from Matay-Kingdom on 29 September, 2014. It allegedly ignored a Bard valuation report which priced the property at US$24 million, a difference of a whopping US$8 million.
Auditors noted that Nssa could have built a similar structure for only US$27 338 386.
Documents at hand show that GreenPlan valuators had valued Celestial Office Park at US$36,5 million as at 15 June, 2014.
Eventually, Nssa forked out US$34 089 758, inclusive of other charges.
Part of the audit report reads, “Given the significant difference of US$12, 5 million between the two market values derived by the independent valuers, one would have expected both reports to have been tabled for discussion and Bard valuation included for determining the offer for bargaining purposes.
“The agreement of sale entered into with Matay-King did not adequately protect the authority’s interest. Lack of a due diligence on potential tenants on the part of Nssa prior to acquiring the property and non-compliance with State Procurement Board guidelines in relation to the construction of an access road to Celestial Park as well as breaches of Nssa’s own policies in respect of acquisition of property investments.”
Mr Vela said the board recently conducted a skills audit and embarked on the second phase of its restructuring exercise which saw 13 middle managers lose their jobs.
“The board recognised that these painful measures are necessary for sustained viability in an increasingly challenging operating environment where the authority’s goal remains to deliver a living pension to its pensioners.”