By Daniel Chigundu
Harare East legislator Tendai Biti has called on Parliament to compel Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Sekesai Nzenza to table the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) Audit Report as required by the law.
Minister Nzenza who confirmed to Parliament a few weeks ago that the much-awaited NSSA Audit Report was out has been playing hide and seek with the allegedly damning report.
Even efforts by the Speaker of the National Assembly to make her bring the report to Parliament on several occasions seem to have yielded nothing.
Speaking in the National Assembly on a point of privilege, Honourable Biti who is also the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee said Parliament must exercise its power in compelling the minister to table the report.
“Madam Speaker, a month ago, the Hon. Speaker made a ruling and determination on the availability of the NSSA Forensic Audit Report.
“The esteemed and distinguished Hon. Speaker, Adv. Jacob Mudenda, Esquire directed that the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Sekesai Nzenza comes to this august House within two weeks from his determination to explain to this august House when she was going to present the NSSA Forensic Audit Report.
“This august House has got the duty and obligation to oversee every public institution and that obligation is defined in Sections 117 and 199 of the Constitution. More specifically on public funds, Sections 298 and 299 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe state that this august House scrutinizes every cent that comes out and goes into the State.
“So we ask for a determination – a ruling from your esteemed self that the Hon. Minister tomorrow should lay before this august House, in compliance with the Hon. Speaker’s determination the much heaped NSSA forensic report. I thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am,” he said.
People who claim to have had a glimpse of the report claim it exposes a lot of corruption activities that might involve some senior government officials.
NSSA is alleged to have lost a lot of revenue through questionable investment decisions that saw paying inflated figures for some properties and land it bought as well as investing in banks that have closed down.
Responding as to when she will be tabling the report, Minister Nzenza said as soon as they are done with the processes they are doing, they will then bring it Parliament.
Below is what Minister Sekai Nzenza said:
Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by apologising to the House. I want to apologise for having given an unrealistic timeframe to present the NSSA Forensic report. However, I would like to let this House know that we have engaged a team of lawyers.
It took some time to engage the team of expert lawyers because we had to go through the due process of procurement. The role of the lawyers is to specifically bring their expertise and unpack four key areas.
The four key areas to be looked at and as I speak, they are unpacking that report. They are focusing on one – issues to do with some irregularities under corporate governance; number two – possible irregularities to do with human resources. Number three – they are also looking at irregularities to do with investments and finally Madam Speaker, the last item that we will be looking at is to do with information technology.
Once that is done, I am hoping that this will be done in the next few days. I shall be presenting a Ministerial Statement and the outcome of the NSSA Forensic report. I thank you.