Ministry of Public Service and Social Welfare is now seeking legal advice over the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) Forensic Report with the Norton Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa threatening to expose the much-awaited document.
The audit report, which covers the operations of NSSA during the period from 1 January 2015 and 28 February 2018, has been placed before the NSSA Board of Directors for deliberation according to the Social Welfare Minister Sekai Nzenza.
“We are in the process of reviewing the report and have engaged a team of lawyers to offer legal counsel after careful appraisal,” Nzenza said.
“We are also working closely with Special Anti-Corruption Unit on the matter.”
The Minister went on to say that her role as the Minister is to ensure the protection of the interests of the pensioners and other contributors who are covered by the social security schemes that NSSA has established.
“Legal Counsel shall properly collate the information to enable the Board to decide the appropriate legal route to pursue,” Nzenza said.
“Where the evidence warrants either criminal action or recovery through civil remedies, we shall pursue the same in the interests of justice.”
“It is of utmost importance to guarantee the integrity of the Pension Fund and all social security schemes provided in pursuit of His Excellency’s vision 2030 which is anchored efficiency, transparency and good corporate governance,” she went on.
The Norton Member of Parliament, discussing the report on his Twitter handle, said for the good of her name, Nzenza should stop trying to protect the corrupt.
“The length of time being taken to release the report has already risen eyebrows and it has leaked already anyway,” Mliswa said. “If the report isn’t out by tomorrow, I’ll start with a few interesting posts.”
“… the Hon Minister seems unaware that the Auditor-General is the Supreme Auditing Authority of the country. She doesn’t report to the Minister&should actually release the report directly to Parly.”
Mliswa sent a NSSA corruption dossier titled The Abuse and Capture of National Social Security Authority, relating to a series of alleged corruption activities, including the authority’s role in funding a local commercial bank without following due processes in April 2018 according to local media reports in Zimbabwe.
Last year, the Norton MP also wrote a letter to the Auditor General alleging personal relations between former NSSA members and BDO Zimbabwe which produced the forensic report.
“My concern stems from the close personal relationship enjoyed between the former chairperson of Nssa Mr Robin Vela and the CEO of BDO Zimbabwe, Mr Kudenga, that may have the propensity to prejudice investigations,” Mliswa said.
“They are in the same audit firm that were involved in the allegedly shady Tetrad/Interfin tripartite transaction amongst other transactions that further sheds doubt on the capacity of BDO Zimbabwe to operate in an uncompromised manner.”
“I, therefore, propose that in order to obtain a fair and credible audit, a totally independent audit firm may be urgently appointed, or that the forensic audit at Nssa be delayed slightly whilst investigations into the alleged misconduct are made.”