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Former-NSSA boss spills the beans

Former-NSSA boss spills the beans. Vela made the shocking revelations in an affidavit filed at the High Court where he is challenging a forensic audit by BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants, which revealed alleged massive plunder at NSSA.

Ex-National Social Security Authority chairman Robin Vela has revealed that a former Zanu-PF minister took a staggering US$400 000 from the state pensions body to fund her election campaign.

The former NSSA boss was placed at the centre of the alleged illicit deals, whose exposure, has already led to the arrest of former Labour minister Priscilla Mupfumira.

Mupfumira, who was charged with criminal abuse of office involving the alleged theft of US$95 million, is awaiting trial after spending over a month in remand prison. Vela, however, in the court papers argues that the audit was heavily biased as it seemed to be targeting certain people while ignoring others.

He said some of the documents he gave to the auditors were ignored, which showed that they were following ‘a certain script. ‘ Vela said Mupfumira’s successor Patronella Kagonye’s activities were not exposed by the auditors despite the evidence being made available to BDO Zimbabwe during the audit.

“I must point out that the report makes no mention of the fact that minister Kagonye forced NSSA to ‘sponsor’ to the tune of USD$ 200 000 a disability conference in her Caledonia constituency and a further sum of USD$200 000 to a school in Ruwa immediately prior to the July 2018 elections,” he said in the affidavit.

“Involved in this was the minister Kagonye, the permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka and then principal director now permanent secretary in the ministry of Public Service, Labour and social welfare. “This vote buying done through pensioners’ funds for private benefit is not mentioned. Is it because the auditors had a wider political audience to satisfy or otherwise not offend?

Kagonye also allegedly ordered that Lameck Danga be appointed National Building Society’s boss, despite the fact that he had come second during interviews. Vela alleged that BDO Zimbabwe’s audit was a hatchet job done by an incompetent firm under the direction of the Auditor General Mildred Chiri, and he wants it set aside.

Mildred Chiri
Auditor-General Mildred Chiri.

“The partner who signed off the report and none of the persons who worked on it are qualified or accredited as forensic investigators by any institution, reputable or otherwise and could not have carried out a forensic investigation,” he submitted.

He also claimed that BDO Zimbabwe’s managing partner Ngoni Kudenga was pursuing a personal agenda because of differences they had. Vela listed a number of occasions where Kudenga allegedly sought his help in resolving certain issues and also allegedly owed him money.

“In this regard I must also make the point that the report is designed to deal with certain targets for certain unspecified oblique reasons,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vela has pledged US$1 million as a security deposit for another audit of NSSA by an international firm in an effort to clear his name. In a letter addressed to Labour minister Sekai Nzenza, Vela, challenged the forensic audit by BDO Zimbabwe saying it was misleading and contained material falsehoods

“He is certain that he never unlawfully took money, even a dime, from NSSA coffers neither did he act in any unlawful manner,” Vela’s lawyers wrote to Nzenza. “Vela has further instructed us to advise you that he is prepared to put down a security deposit of USD 1 million for the appointed forensic auditors expenses to be forfeited should their findings contradict his assertions.

Source – Bulawayo 24 News

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