HARARE, April 1– Labour representative bodies in Zimbabwe have hit out at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) for indiscretion when investing workers’ contributions.

The labour bodies, which appeared separately before the Parliamentary Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare here Monday, said the NSSA’s operations were not benefitting workers and pensioners. The trade unions called on the NSSA to implement housing schemes which will benefit lowly paid employees as well as pensioners.

Public Service Association president Cecilia Alexander said workers were not properly represented in the NSSA board committees. “Employers are mostly interested in the investments committee while workers representatives are in the benefits committee,” she said.

Alexander said getting the board to approve an increase in pension pay-outs was impossible, adding the pensions must be hiked to above 500 US dollars per month from the current 60 USD a month.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president George Nkiwane said the investments committee was the most powerful of the NSSA board committees and because of the lack of representation on this committtee, labour bodies were in most cases surprised to read about some risky investments that the NSSA have made in the newspapers.

The NSSA recently disclosed that it resorted to selling off buildings after it loaned more than 25 million USD to some financial institutions which failed to pay back the loans.

“We are on the NSSA board but we are not satisfied with our representation,” said Nkiwane, who added that most decisions were made at sub-committee level where the unions were not represented.

Nkiwane said the ZCTU had at one time pulled out of NSSA in protest over the way the affairs of the institution were being managed.

Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions president Jacob Gwavava said the NSSA was not properly managed.
“The chief executive must be given terms and a performance-based contract,” he said. “There has been lack of management skills that can make NSSA a viable organization.”