NSSA is a corporate institution established by an Act of Parliament in 1989 to administer social security schemes in Zimbabwe and falls under Minister Mpariwa’s portfolio.
In the last two years, NSSA has distributed US$137.5 million to over 2000 local companies across the economic sectors which were experiencing liquidity challenges.
The Authority’s General Manager, James Matiza was quoted in the media recently saying the money was disbursed as part of the Authority’s support towards initiatives to turn around the economy.
Companies that were identified as having benefitted from the Authority’s benevolence include: Grain Marketing Board, Star Africa Corporation, National Foods, Lobels, Harambe Holdings and Tacoola Beverages, among many others.
Minister Mpariwa has questioned how NSSA distributed funds to companies, such as Harambe Holdings and Lobels, that are embroiled in disputes over issues pertaining to misappropriation of funds and general financial mismanagement.
Lobels was allegedly swindled out of more than US$7 million by its former chief executive, Burombo Mudhumo.
In a memo to the NSSA board, Minister Mpariwa noted that the financial mismanagement issue was inexplicably not referred to the police for investigations by the Lobels Directors.
Harambe Holdings is currently involved in a public dispute with one of its suppliers over the company’s non-payment of goods supplied to it. Press reports indicate that Harambe Holdings have been unable to pay its suppliers due to liquidity problems.
“The fact that both Lobels and Harambe Holdings were recipients of substantial amounts of public funds from NSSA makes their current financial issues my Ministry’s concern. It is in the public interest that NSSA requests both companies to account for the funds that they have received in November of 2009,” Minister Mpraiwa wrote to the NSSA board.
She said it is of “utmost importance that NSSA strictly adheres to the principles that are clearly laid out in Section 23 of the NSSA Act in the performance of its duties as mandated by the NSSA Act”.
“It is therefore imperative that all activities and transactions that NSSA engages in are seen to be transparent and in accordance with the principles of good governance by all those who contribute towards its funds, especially the poor working class,” said Mpariwa.
Recently, NSSA has been accused of paying paltry payouts of US$25 per month per pensioner which has been described by both pensioners and legislators as a “pittance”.