Zimbabwe: ZCTU Fights for NSSA Board Representation

NSSA building.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is headed for a clash with Public Service minister Sekai Nzenza amid indications the union's choice to represent workers' interests on the board of the National Social Security Authority has not been appointed, businessdigest has learnt.

The ZCTU submitted names for consideration three months ago.

Nzenza appointed a new Nssa board earlier this year chaired by Cuthbert Chidoori.

Other members include Priscilla Mujuru, Mfaro Moyo, Cecilia Alexander and Arthur Manase. It did not include representatives from labour.

It is a statutory requirement that there be a tripartite representation on the board, comprising government, business and labour.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general Japhet Moyo told businessdigest on Wednesday that they are still battling to get their representative on the board despite submitting names in May this year.

The ZCTU had proposed to reappoint the union's president Peter Mutasa to the board but this has been to no avail.

The labour movement sent a list with three other names and the request has not been granted.

"We have written to the minister twice over the issue of having a representative on the board," Moyo said. "We had sent the name of our representative (Mutasa) who we wanted on the board but there was resistance from government.

As a compromise we then agreed to send three names for consideration which we did but we have been told that they are still undergoing vetting by security officials. We do not know if they need to go to Tsholotsho to find out where those that we have proposed used to herd cattle. They have not told us how long this will take and we are concerned over the delay."

He said what surprised them is that although they are still waiting for their representative to be appointed to the board, labour representatives from the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions and the Apex Council have already been appointed to the board.

This is not the first time labour has been at odds with government over its representation on the Nssa board. Mutasa was removed from the board in 2017 by then Labour minister Prisca Mupfumira for allegedly failing to advance the interests of Nssa by attacking the institution during meetings and in the media. He was also accused of failing to uphold confidentiality of board discussions. He was reinstated later that year when Patrick Zhuwao took over as Labour minister.

Nssa has investments in banking, insurance, hospitality and property sectors. Its investments have surpassed US$1 billion and are one of the few sources of liquidity in the market. This has made it a platform for contestation among various parties eyeing the cash rich fund.

The Nssa fund has always been a source of controversy with a number of senior managers being fired over mismanagement of funds and gross corruption. Last week, Tourism minister and former Labour minister Prisca Mupfumira was arrested over allegations she may have misappropriation of US$95 million. The allegations are contained in a Nssa audit report covering the period between 2015 and 2018.

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