Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

NSSA: Sackings, shenanigans and sex

By Brian Chitemba

Barely a week after dismissing board chair Mr Robin Vela, the National Social Security Authority has sacked four senior executives.

The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) board chairman Robin Vela
Former National Social Security Authority (NSSA) board chairman Robin Vela

General manager Ms Elizabeth Chitiga and Messrs Emerson Mungwariri (director finance and operations), Barnabas Matongera (contributions, collections and compliance director) and David Makwara (investments director) were fired last Thursday after a marathon board meeting.

Board secretary and group legal advisor Ms Cynthia Mugwira also had her portfolio reconfigured and will from today solely proffer legal advice to the parastatal.

The shake-up comes as Mr Vela faces allegations of sexually harassing Ms Mugwira, who is contemplating legal action against him. Mr Vela has refuted the allegations, and accused Mr Mugwira of “bed-hopping”.

Yesterday, Nssa PR and marketing executive Mr Tendai Mutseyekwa declined commenting. However, The Sunday Mail understands the dismissals will take effect on Tuesday.

On condition of anonymity, a top official said, “The board met on Thursday and agreed to fire the directors. They haven’t been given letters, but that will happen after the Easter holidays on Tuesday. Reasons for the sackings will be announced.”

On March 26, 2018, Ms Chitiga wrote to Ms Mugwira, explaining to her that splitting roles would decongest her department’s functions.

Part of the letter reads, “Following meetings between you and management, the National Social Security Authority board has since passed a resolution to restructure the post of group legal and board secretarial services executive which you currently occupy.

“The board has resolved to split the post of group legal and board secretarial services executive role into (i) group legal advisor and (ii) board secretarial services, compliance and corporate governance executive.

“In the circumstances, effective April 1, 2018, you will be employed as group legal adviser. Your salary and benefits shall remain unchanged.

Management will proceed to carry out recruitment for the post of board secretarial services, compliance and corporate governance executive.”

Ms Mugwira is contesting the decision, arguing she was being demoted for resisting Mr Vela’s advances.

Mr Vela told The Sunday Mail that the allegations were “complete rubbish”.

He shot back through his lawyer, Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, accusing Ms Mugwira of bed-hopping.

Ms Mtetwa wrote, “Our client denies the allegations made against him and he challenges your client to produce the innumerable fax messages she alleges are in existence. He further denies the innuendo that your client’s problems with her employer are in any way connected to him; in particular he denies the suggestion that her employment issues have been motivated by the alleged rebuff of our client’s alleged sexual advances.

“Further, we are instructed that our client has been made aware of a current sexual relationship your client has in today’s workplace and several previous such relationships she has had with others which will also be supported by affidavits at the appropriate time.

“It is our client’s view that the allegations were never raised as a grievance for no other reason than that these are a figment of her imagination, an imagination that appears to have dogged her for most of her professional life given reports of a similar nature she made against men in her previous employment which will be supported by affidavits from various senior and respected persons in society including another Nssa board member also curiously accused, in the public space, to have also made advances at your client.” The Sunday News