Home » Governance » Restructure NSSA, Says Parly

There is need to restructure the National Social Security Authority and relieve senior managers of their jobs and ensure the entity pursues goals that provide social safety nets for workers, the basis for which it was established, Parliamentarians said on Thursday. Legislators said NSSA had deviated from its mandate to serve workers as focus now appeared to be to enrich top executives and their cronies.

They said no substantial benefit was being derived from NSSA as what it paid pensioners was a pittance, yet senior managers were making rich pickings.

This was said during a debate on a report on NSSA that was presented by the portfolio committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare chaired by Gutu East MP, Cde Berita Chikwama (Zanu-PF).

Chegutu West MP Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF), said workers become paupers after retirement because the $60 they earned was too little. He said there was need to reduce the pensionable age from 60 years to around 45 years so that workers enjoy their benefits while they were still active.

Cde Nduna also said there was need to restrict the number of terms the general manager served to two.

“NSSA will take your surviving family for a ride. There have been bad decisions made by NSSA. Why should we hold on for such a general manager, one (James) Matiza for such a long-time? He should go, not tomorrow or today but yesterday,” said Cde Nduna.

“We cannot allow what we created to be against the ethos of the liberation struggle and the revolution.”

He also said NSSA’s reporting structure was ill-defined because while it reported to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, former Finance Minister Tendai Biti had at one point also given directives to the entity to invest $40 million in Renaissance Merchant Bank.

Shamva South MP Cde Joseph Mapiki (Zanu-PF), said due to the HIV and Aids pandemic, life expectancy had been reduced hence the need to revise downwards the pensionable age.

He said many people were dying before they enjoyed their contributions, yet NSSA executives were leading lavish lifestyles through the workers’ sweat.

Cde Mapiki said there was need to disband or restructure the entity because it was not serving the intended objectives of helping workers when they retired. Dzivarasekwa MP Mr Solomon Madzore (MDC-T), castigated NSSA for bad investment decisions when it destroyed Ximex Mall to construct a car park.

Muzarabani North MP Cde Joseph Mufunga (Zanu-PF), said NSSA had failed to make a positive impact on workers, but was actually a source of suffering for workers despite their lifetime contributions.

“People are travelling long distances to collect their pension, which is a pittance. In most cases they wait for about three months so that the money is not chewed up in transport costs,” said Cde Mufunga.

“Let us relook at NSSA: either we disband it or we think over it again. NSSA has not helped workers but has actually destroyed their lives.”

In its report, the committee said NSSA should be thorough and cautious when venturing in projects using public resources.

They gave an example of Ekusileni hospital in Bulawayo where it invested millions of dollars for its construction, yet it did not have title deeds for the land.

Source : The Herald