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Forensic Audit Paves Way For A New NSSA: Nzenza

HARARE, 3 August 2019 – Thursday’s release of the long-awaited and much anticipated NSSA forensic audit report paves way for a new chapter that will see the social security fund conform to sound corporate governance and transparency in its operations, a cabinet minister has said.

Speaking after presenting the report to Parliament on Thursday afternoon, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Honourable Dr Sekai Nzenza, said the findings of the report will set a new trajectory for NSSA in terms of performing its mandate of providing social security for the generality of Zimbabweans. The forensic audit was carried out by the Auditor-General at the instigation of the ministry.

“NSSA is entering a new chapter. We shall ensure that good corporate governance, transparency and accountability become best practice to protect the interests of the contributors to the pension fund,” said Hon Dr Nzenza, who was accompanied by the NSSA Board Chairman, Dr Cuthbert Chidoori.

Dr Chidoori’s Board, which was appointed in February 2019, was immediately thrust into the deep end following the release of the forensic audit report to the Minister in March. Due to the gravity of issues raised in the report, the NSSA Board, in consultation with Hon Dr Nzenza, enlisted the services to lawyers to sift through its contents and guide them accordingly.

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Dr Chidoori said it would have been reckless and imprudent to immediately release the report without seeking legal counsel first. The enlisting of lawyers, which was subject to government procurement processes, took two months leading to the delayed release of the forensic audit report.

Hon Dr Nzenza said findings of the report would provide guidance in determining which issues required a legal approach, both civil and criminal.

“In that regard, the Board and Management are working closely with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to ensure that if there are findings which point to criminal activities, they are managed accordingly,” said Hon Nzenza.

The Minister and the Board would also ensure that there was sound management and would take necessary action where this was not followed within the Labour Legislative Framework as read together with the NSSA Act.

Honourable Dr Nzenza said her ministry, working with the Board and Management, remained committed to protecting the interests of contributors to the pension fund.

“The role of the Minister, NSSA Board and Management, is to safeguard the interests of the pension fund. They have a responsibility as provided by the NSSA Act, to be accountable, transparent and above all, ensure good corporate governance of the institution.”

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