AN unnamed National Social Security Authority (NSSA) boss received a US$15 000 holiday allowance and US$200 gym allowance from the authority in 2020, an audit report has revealed.
Acting Auditor-General (AG), Rheah Kujinga, in her latest report on the audit of State-owned enterprises and parastatals for the year ended December 31, 2022 said two executive managers received salary advances in March and July 2020 totalling US$26 650 that were not recovered, contrary to the authority’s advance salary policy.
“The employment contract for the Authority was not taking into account the tax effect of allowances and benefits. As a result, the authority was grossing up school fees and fuel allowances for tax purposes,” the report read.
“In addition, one of the managers was receiving a gym subscription of US$200, which was not part of the contract of employment and was processed outside the payroll.
“The manager also received a holiday allowance amounting to US$15 000 and a retention allowance amounting to US$120 994, which was also processed outside the payroll net of tax. The tax thereof amounting to ZWL$80 663, was not remitted to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).”
Kujinga said NSSA received a total of $233,4 million, which was not receipted due to insufficient client details.
She expressed concern that contributors’ debt figures could be distorted by deposits that were not receipted.
“The high prevalence of insufficient client details deposits arose from clients remitting contributions and other payments through online banking. The Authority should consider further engagements with clients and banks to clear these unclassified receipts,” she said.
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Transparency International Zimbabwe executive director, Tafadzwa Chikumbu, on Thursday described the out-of-payroll allowances as a sign of abuse of office.
“In this case, the taxpayer and the employer who is charged with the responsibility to deduct and remit the tax to Zimra are at fault,” he said.
Zimbabwe Women against Corruption Trust director, Sandara Matendere, said corruption at NSSA has negative implications for pensioners.
“Corruption at NSSA is a very sensitive issue for the beneficiaries, who are getting next to none as monthly payments for their contributions to this entity. The most worrying part is that old people, especially widows, are the victims,” she said.
NSSA has over the years hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons related to corruption involving senior management.
The authority has not had a substantive general manager since April 2018 after Elizabeth Chitiga was dismissed on allegationsof maladministration and abuse of public funds.
Her successor, Arthur Manase, resigned with more than 30 corruption charges, which include gross inefficiency and incompetence, willful disobedience of lawful orders, and theft or fraud, hanging over his head.