A NATIONAL Social Security Authority (NSSA) compliance inspector based in Bulawayo appeared in court last week on allegations of conniving with a local firm to understate workers’ pension contributions, thus, fleecing the authority of over $19 000.
BY SILAS NKALA
This was heard last week when Luckmore Chivandire (32) appeated before magistrate Nyaradzo Ringisai charged with abuse of office.
Chivandire denied the charge and was remanded out of custody to March 20.
NSSA’s loss control manager, Laxman Moyo told the court that sometime last year, he received reports that Chivandire had received a $2 700 bribe to manipulate the statutory obligations owed by Matabeleland Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, a Bulawayo company under his portfolio.
On July 27, 2017, Moyo visited NSSA Bulawayo offices to investigate the matter and allegedly established that on August 30, 2016, Chivandire had sent an email to Matabeleland Engineering Company, which he had copied to the senior compliance officer, Maxwell Linkford Pfachi and senior contributions officer Godfrey Maphosa.
The email showed NSSA inspection sheets for the period May 2015 to July 2016 and the total amount due to the authority was $24 265.
It is alleged that Matabeleland Engineering was then given 24 hours’ notice by NSSA to make arrangements with two senior officers to draw a payment plan. The firm did not comply with the ultimatum.
Chivandire allegedly went on to issue garnishee orders to recover $24 265 from the firm, which then engaged him. On September 21, 2016, Chivandire allegedly conducted an unsanctioned inspection and allegedly reduced the number of workers from 43 to four, cutting the bill owed to NSSA to $5 590,55.
Chivandire allegedly adjusted premiums owed to NSSA between 2015 and 2016, leaving a bill of $5 590,55.
As a result, NSSA suffered a potential revenue loss of $19 175,15. A report made to the police led to his arrest.