via NSSA boss gave himself $220k loan 25/03/2014 NewZimbabwe
MOST companies and individuals are reportedly struggling to secure funding from the country’s banks in a struggling economy that has been battered to its knees by a stubborn liquidity squeeze.
But money is not a bother for well-paid managers at the cash-rich National Social Security Authority (NSSA) who have helped themselves to cheap loans from what are effectively public funds at the state-run pension scheme.
The organisation’s general manager, James Matiza, earns US$20,000 per month but he also owes the organisation some US$212,816 in outstanding repayments for a loan secured from the company.
Matiza is not alone. Parliament’s Public Accounts Portfolio Committee heard Monday that eight of the top managers at NSSA owe the organisation more than US$1,7 million in outstanding loan repayments.
Other employees owe the institution a combined US$18,9 million, bringing the total internal staff lending to about US$23,6 million.
Borrowing costs on the local market can be quoted as high as 35 percent, a prohibitive rate for farmers and manufacturers, but Matiza and his staff get money on the cheap – three percent interest per annum for top managers and five percent for other workers.
MPs expressed concern over the way the organisation was being run with committee chair Willias Madzimure (MDC-T) saying: “NSSA is set up by an Act of Parliament and you cannot treat NSSA business as any other business. So, whatever is done should be to the interest of (the contributors)…”
Meanwhile, it also emerged that, in addition to his $20,000 basic pay packet, Matiza is also entitled to a holiday allowance of US$7,800 per annum and a NSSA-maintained Toyota Land Cruiser.
Divisional directors are paid US$12,705.79 per month along with annual holiday allowances of US$5,800 and NSSA maintained Jeep Cherokees. Executive heads earn US$10,765.68 per month in addition to about US$5,800 in annual holiday allowances every two years.
Again, NSSA managers are also directors of companies in which the organisation has invested, drawing thousands of dollars in board allowances.
The organisation has interests in 64 of the 69 companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), holding at least 10 percent of the shares in some 12 firms.
NSSA Managers who are sit on the boards of these companies and those who do not each earned $111,000 in directors fees per year, Matiza told the legislative committee.
The revelation prompted Madzimure to ask the NSSA boss: “Is it proper for individuals to pocket the fees instead of submitting them to NSSA?”
Chikomba East MP, Edgar Mbwembwe (Zanu PF) was not impressed and told Matiza that his explanations were “inconsistent and contradictory”.
“You are bringing in the argument that they are putting in extra effort. I don’t know of any companies that have such practices,” said the legislator.