13 May 2017

Zimbabwe: ZCTU Gives Mupfumira a 7 Day Ultimatum to Reinstate Mutasa to NSSA Board, Approaches ILO

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has given the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Priscah Mupfumira a seven day ultimatum to reinstate its President, Peter Mutasa to the NSSA board or risk legal action.

Mupfumira expelled Mutasa from the NSSA board last week on allegations of failing to uphold the confidentiality of board discussions by leaking information to the media.

She said she had expelled him in terms of Section 10 (a) of the National Social Security Authority Act.

In a letter to Mupfumira dated 10 May, 2017, Moyo said the labour body would also file a complaint against the Minister at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which meets in Geneva next month for the International Labour Conference.

Zimbabwe has already been listed on the International Labour Conference Agenda for 2017 along with eight other African countries, three of them from Southern Africa for violating workers' rights.

"If we fail to hear from you, kindly note that we will petition the High Court to nullify your decision. Furthermore, we will be filing a complaint to the ILO against the government of Zimbabwe for violating its Constitution and the principles of Freedom of Association to which Zimbabwe is party," he wrote.

In an interview with New Zimbabwe.com, Moyo said the expulsion of Mutasa the NSSA board last week was an attempt to conceal the corruption and rot at the authority, the labour body said Friday.

Moyo said NSSA was abusing pensioners' funds and Mutasa was being punished for daring to question some of the unwise decisions made by the authority which led to loss of pensioners' money.

"We now suspect that NSSA does not want enlightened people in the board because they want to continue with their decisions where they can abuse pensioners' money because obviously with Mutasa from the ZCTU, they will not be able to do what they want," Moyo said.

Moyo said the labour body would not be intimidated by the dirty tactics being used by the NSSA board to stifle their representative from carrying out the mandate he was assigned to do by his constituency.

He said other members of the NSSA Board did not represent any constituency and were benefitting from the allowances they received, thus were not worried about the misuse of pensioners' funds.

"Some of the board members don't even know why they are there and they don't represent any constituency. Others are just afraid and some just empty and are not in up to date with events. So Mutasa is being targeted because he is the only one who can stand up against the chairperson to say you are wrong," he said.

Mupfumira also wrote to Moyo advising him to submit nominees for selection to replace Mutasa.

However, Moyo said the labour body was not going to submit any names as they felt Mutasa should be reinstated as he was wrongfully withdrawn.

"It is a way of intimidating us so that in the event that we decide to change Mutasa; which I don't see happening, we will bring someone who they will tell to behave. We don't believe that a person can be tried in absentia or through the papers; besides there is no evidence," he said.

Moyo requested that Mupfumira withdraw the decision to expel Mutasa, arguing he had not been given the right to reply.

"Kindly note that you did not afford him the right to be heard provided in Section 69 (1) (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and no proper procedures were followed to arrive to such decision," Moyo wrote.

There are unconfirmed reports that Mutasa became unpopular with other members of the NSSA board after he suggested that they reduce their allowances by 30 percent.

NSSA Board members currently get an allowance of $2000 per quarter, $490 sitting allowance for sub-committee meetings and $600 general board meeting sitting allowance.

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