By A Correspondent| In a shocking revelation, former National Social Security Authority (Nssa) boss Arthur Manase is embroiled in a luxury vehicles scandal, accused of illicitly acquiring six cars using pension fund money for personal use within a mere two-year span.
Ruvimbo Muchenje from a local online reports that Manase is further alleged to have implemented a policy allowing condition-of-service vehicles, in violation of a cabinet-approved circular dated 20 March 2018.
This controversy comes as he pushes Nssa to relinquish a third high-end vehicle, a Land Rover Defender, in addition to the already acquired Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG and Mitsubishi Triton double cab before his recent resignation.
The total value of these three vehicles amounts to an astonishing US$416,000, with the Mercedes-Benz valued at US$178,000, the Land Rover Defender at US$175,000, and the Triton at US$63,000.
Manase, who assumed the role in January 2021, resigned on 1 August, over a year after being placed on a leave of absence since July the prior year for investigations into numerous irregularities, mismanagement, and corruption allegations.
The former Nssa executive was suspended without pay and benefits on 28 July, just three days before he tendered his resignation, facing a litany of over 30 charges related to misconduct, malpractices, and maladministration.
Nssa had intended to convene a disciplinary committee to address corruption allegations, some of which involved vehicles.
Documents uncovered by the online outlet outline accusations of unauthorized implementation of a motor vehicle framework for conditions of service and the unlawful acquisition of six cars.
One of the charges reads, “You unlawfully implemented a policy of availing condition of service vehicles, in addition to motor vehicle loans, in violation of the 20 March 2018 cabinet-approved circular on conditions of service vehicles for independent commissions, state enterprises and parastatals. You therefore wilfully defied and/or refused to implement lawful directives and caused financial loss to the authority as a result of payment of unapproved vehicle loans.”
The allegations further detail the acquisition of six vehicles using Nssa resources for personal use within a two-year timeframe, breaching established regulations.
Despite these damning allegations, Manase has reportedly expressed his desire to acquire a Land Rover Defender, the third luxury car from Nssa within two years. It is important to note that the Land Rover Defender in question is an Nssa pool vehicle.
The scandal has also ensnared Nssa assistant accountant Erasmus Mavondo, who was arrested last year on charges of corruptly facilitating a personal loan for Manase to buy a car at a significantly undervalued exchange rate, prejudicing Nssa of a substantial amount.