Politician and eminent businessman, Mr. Joseph Makamba (JM) Busha has said investigations into corruption at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) should date back to the 1990s and not start and end with arrested former Minister Priscah Mupfumira.
“The corruption at NSSA is not new at all. The entity might have been prejudiced of billions of dollars since the plundering of people’s pension funds started long ago from around 1993.
“People have built service stations and engaged in other unscrupulous businesses at the expense of pension contributors who are now exposed to the vagaries of economic hardships. What has happened to the other board members implicated in the fraud at NSSA? Surely Prisca Mupfumira can’t be the only sacrificial lamb. Government should do everything to recover the stolen money at NSSA. We can’t allow charlatans to abuse pension funds for personal gains,” Mr. Busha said.
He said if properly managed, people’s pension funds should provide the only cushion for the wellbeing of pensioners who sadly in Zimbabwe earn next to nothing since the pension pay-outs are eroded by hyper-inflation.
The businessman took a dig at insurance companies that paid out retirees money that was far below their investment in terms of value especially around 2008 and 2009.
“To give someone who paid pension contributions for between 10 and 35 years amounts ranging from US$5 to US$100 is criminal. Returns on retirement funds should be certain. Pensioners’ savings should grow with inflation. Most funds changed from provident funds to defined benefits. The fact that the government created a mandatory law for everyone to contribute to NSSA means that the same government should create legislation, mechanism or safety net to preserve retirement funds,” Mr Busha said.
He advocated for the establishment of a Pensions fund Act that will give rules and guidelines on protecting pensioners’ contributions from being eroded by inflation or abused by politicians.
The businessman said there must be a Class Lawsuit Act to protect people prejudiced by NSSA and urged Zimbabwean lawmakers to legislate for a class lawsuit act.
Mr. Busha said President Mnangagwa should not hire “liars” like Professor Mthuli Ncube whom he said misrepresented the nation when he said the government was making a surplus from the transactional tax.
“Zimbabwe can’t have a surplus when it has no medication and no capital investment. Professor Mthuli Ncube is not allocating the tax he collects to social services. He is giving figures at the current inflation rate yet the value of the tax money has not grown. Investor confidence is not created by telling untruths,” Mr. Busha added.