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Zacc investigates Nssa corruption


Zacc must probe Nssa deal



Dear Esteemed Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission chair, commissioners and secretariat.


We hope we find you well today on Independence Day, 18 April 2024.

We have a good lead for you to start a meaningful investigation into a new case of corruption at the statutory pension fund, National Social Security Authority (Nssa).

As the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), you were established in terms of section 254 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Act (No. 20) Act, 2013, as a constitutional and independent state institution.

Your key mandate is to combat corruption, misappropriation, theft, and abuse of power and improper conduct in the public and private sectors.

In addition to your functions under the constitution and the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, the commission has the following mandate —

(a) to monitor and examine  practices, systems and procurement procedures of public and private institutions; and

(b) to enlist and foster public support in combating corruption in society; and

(c) to educate the public on the dangers of corruption in society; and

(d) to instruct, advise and assist any officer, agency or institution in elimination or minimisation of corruption; and

(e) to receive and investigate any complaints alleging any form of corruption; and

(f) to investigate any conduct of any person whom the commission has reason to believe is connected with activities involving corruption; and

(g) to assist in the formulation of practices, systems and procurement procedures of public and private institutions with a view to the elimination of corrupt practices; and

(h) to advise on ways of strengthening anti-corruption legislation; and

(i) to recommend to the government that it ratify and domesticate relevant international legal instruments aimed at combating corruption.

Against this backdrop, The NewsHawks — a local investigative reporting media organisation — is deeply interested in investigating corruption in its various manifestations in the public and private sectors, as well as dark corners — nooks and crannies — of society.

As such, we have done many investigative stories exposing corruption in different places.
We do this almost week in, week out. It’s our forte.

Only this past week, we exposed in detail a plot by Nssa chairperson Emmanuel Fundira to revive a botched US$10 million ICT social security system involving local software company Twenty Third Century Systems (TTCS).

The NewsHawks has seen the documents on this, showing the corruption scandal underway.

The story is based on facts and copper-bottomed evidence.

TTCS, which is based in Newlands in Harare, provides technology and software solutions.
It was linked to Germany multinational SAP, a market leader in enterprise software application, and South Africa’s EOH Holdings, a tech giant, until 2019.

Now they are at war with each other.

Our sources accuse Fundira of brazen and corrupt abuse of office and power as he railroads the Nssa board, which includes  Merjury Chinyemba, Tarusenga Chitemere, Shepherd Mundondo, Grace Mathe, Timothy Nherudzo, Chipo Ndudzo and Beatrice Ncube, into restoring a cancelled software system contract that cost Nssa US$10 445 582.

This resulted in Nssa taking legal action against TTCS and a counter lawsuit.
Nssa also took court action against its former acting general manager Dr Henry Chikova who was accused of aiding and abetting the costly fiasco.

Now Fundira wants the court cases hastily withdrawn and a new contract issued without responsibility and care for pensioners’ funds already sunk into the botched deal widely described as a grand heist.

Nssa paid over US$10 million for the dysfunctional system, but has nothing to show for it.
Documents show Fundira has used his power — through what is described as “chairman’s action” — to pressure the board into reviving a deal in which the pension fund has already lost more than US$10 million.

He wants the contract restored at all costs and has been forcefully demanding that it be done urgently, suggesting a vested personal interest.

Our sources say he has a personal pecuniary interest.

The issue has divided Nssa management and rattled government officials aware of the dodgy attempt to create further exposure for the US$1.2 billion pension fund through a costly contract which may fail again, doubling the loss.

What is alarming, according to the documents, is that Fundira also wants Nssa to stop its court action against TTCS, while paying it more money, starting with a further US$2 million advance.

And this has to be done urgently.

For him, it is like an emergency, hence the “chairman’s action”.

To implement this, Fundira wants his close associate Chikova, a former director for benefits, schemes planning and research, back at the pension fund to spearhead the deal.

Nssa was suing Chikova, who now works at the public service commission, for deliberate misinformation, impropriety and gaslighting colleagues which led to the awarding of the tender to an undeserving supplier — TTCS which had lost to against another company,Integra, but later clawed back as it charged US$10.4 million as opposed to its competitor’s US$17.8 million.

Fundira wants charges against Chikova dropped so that he makes him the new Nssa general manager — the management boss — to implement the deal.

Nssa management has already been told to drop charges against Chikova without questions in preparation for his arranged return as the boss at the company where he left under a cloud of impropriety and corruption suspicions, costing the company millions.

Charges have to be dropped for him to attend interviews and be hired without hurdles as the process will be rigged in his favour — another corrupt deal inside a corrupt process.

He has already applied for the job under Fundira’s tutelage.

Nssa is currently in the process of recruiting a new substantive general manager, hence the application.

Dr Charles Shava, Nssa director of occupational safety and health, is the acting general manager.

He is one of the applicants for the top job, together with Chikova and Nssa director of corporate affairs David Makwara, among a few others.

But Fundira is single-mindedly pushing for Chikova to become Nssa boss via a predetermined and manipulated recruitment process to revive the US$10 million contract in which he was accused of impropriety in the first place. 

Fundira has even tried to hire some preferred human resources consultants to conduct sham interviews to legitimise Chikova’s imposition to restore the lucrative tender.

The NewsHawks has already done most of the work for you as Zacc.

All you need to do now is to gather evidence — which is there — and act in terms of the law to stop pensioners’ funds being stolen again.

There is a serious job for you, ladies and gentlemen. Show what stuff you are made of.
We await action from your side in the public interest and to show you are indeed working, credible and effective.

Corruption is a grave national issue as it badly undermines economic growth, erodes public confidence, trust and hampers progress.

Fighting corruption is thus clearly in the national interest, especially given its devastating economic and social impact, as well as consequences.

Zimbabwe is currently what it is — in the economic doldrums — partly due to endemic corruption, venality and depredations of corrupt scoundrels.

At least the good thing is that you are already seized with Nssa corruption issues as shown by the recent arrest of Brian Murewa, a former investments and properties director — over another different case involving ex-Public Service minister Paul Mavima’s US$400 000 Borrowdale house scandal.

This was also exposed by The NewsHawks.

Surely, Mavima must also be held to account over this.

If Murewa is guilty of carrying out an illegal and corrupt instruction, the principal is  certainly neck-deep into the corruption and equally guilty.

We wish you good luck in your current and future investigations.

Yours sincerely,

The NewsHawks.

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