Minister denies hand in leaked NSSA ‘memo’

A FRESH storm has hit the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) after documents purportedly written by board chairperson, Robin Vela, allegedly detailing ways to frustrate top executives, who do not dance to the tune of Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira were leaked.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Prisca Mupfumira

Prisca Mupfumira

But both Vela and Mupfumira immediately dismissed the documents as fake, saying they were being circulated by people unknown to them.

In the private and confidential documents between the duo, Vela allegedly wrote that NSSA would only recruit senior managers loyal to them.

The two were allegedly discussing the appointment of senior executives in August last year.

Vela allegedly wrote to Mupfumira on August 2 last year detailing how he would control the executives.

“If any one of the directors refuses to take directives, I shall frustrate them one by one, extending the probation period to force compliance or just fire. I can allege the delicate issue of incompetence as an excuse,” he allegedly wrote.

However, Vela denied authoring the letter, saying it was fraudulent.

“The letter is a clear fraud and I have taken up the issue with the police to investigate. I filed a report two weeks ago at Harare Central when I became aware of that letter,” he said.

In the letter, Vela was advising Mupfumira of the appointment of Elizabeth Chitiga as chief executive, Emmerson Mungwariri (finance and operations officer), Henry Chikova (chief social security officer), Betty Nyereyegona (chief occupational health and safety and rehabilitation centre officer) and Barnabas Matongera (chief contributions, collections and compliance officer).

He also advised of the appointment of investments executives Chikuni Mutiswa, Herbert Hungwe and Kura Chihota.
Mupfumira professed ignorance of the letter.

“The letter only came to light in the past two weeks. Why should it suddenly appear now? I have not seen it,” she said.

“The retrenching exercise has always been on the cards and some people are not happy. Somebody is hurt by the developments.”

Vela, in the letter, intimated that Mungwariri was experienced, but easier to control because of a scandal he was allegedly involved in while at RioZim.

“…Mungwariri is a very strong candidate because of his financial experience. I think he shall execute our directives without fear. I could have dropped him because of his case at RioZim, but we need him for he is seasoned,” he allegedly wrote. “If he opts to resist my directive, I shall bring up the case and immediately relieve him of his duties. He may not contest dismissal because he knows he is unsuitable for the job. It was a favour.”

Vela, in the letter, said he had reservations about the investment trio.

The executives have had their probation extended, but none has been appointed as substantive to date, nine months after they were initially engaged.

One of the investment executives, Mutiswa, was dismissed last month after he refused to have his probation extended for the third time.

The letter also contained the issue of NSSA restructuring that has come to pass.

“I shall retrench some managers this year and workers next year, 2017 and shall immediately replace them. These long-serving employees may pose a challenge/resistance to directives,” Vela allegedly wrote.