National Social Security Authority (NSSA) board chairman, Percy Toriro, has offered to resign citing his prolonged physical absence from the country, reported Business Weekly.
Toriro becomes the fifth person to leave the NSSA board in seven years, with board chairpersons and general managers hardly lasting more than two years on average.
Reports claim that NSSA was planning to axe Toriro at any time. He has been out of the country since October last year and attended board meetings virtually.
In his resignation letter to Public Service and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima last week, a copy of which was leaked to Business Weekly, Toriro wrote:
Further to my letter of 28 December 2022, I wish to advise you that I continue to be away doing consultancy work on urban planning advisory in a few cities on the continent in West Africa.
There continues to be a lot of work for me here and I may not be back in the country any time soon.
It has become increasingly difficult to effectively participate from a distance even when you have appointed an acting chairperson.
Although I have been able to attend some business and meetings virtually, I recommend that you identify a replacement board leader so that the diverse and complex NSSA operations are not disrupted by my absence.
Toriro’s first five-year term was due to expire in 2026 but a “toxic working culture due to serious political interference” probably forced him to resign. A Business Weekly source was quoted as saying:
It’s only that NSSA collects retirement savings every month; that is why it is surviving.
From the time James Matiza left, it has been corruption after corruption and it appears that anyone who gets the privilege of influencing decisions wants to lay his/her hand on NSSA coffers.
So it cascades from the top (the politicians) to managers, and everyone sees opportunities.
There is no longer a shared purpose, or vision, people are just motivated to line their pockets.
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