Start polishing your CVs! The entire board of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) have been told to clear their desks after a series of “questionable transactions” was discovered during an audit in mid-November. Fingers in the cookie jar!
Up to Ksh3 billion may have been badly invested after a dodgy share deal with the crisis-hit Discount Securities stockbrokers. And just to add icing to the almighty mess, there’s also a land deal that’s gone sour! Another Ksh1.4 billion is at risk after the NSSF conned Indian-owned Delta Resources out of 0.56 hectares of land close to the Grand Regency hotel, on a plot that was suppposed to be 1.9 hectares. Honestly, all this stuff needs is a paternity suit and we have a whole soap opera.
Sacking the board may not solve all of the woes that have befallen the NSSF, however, and a new board will need to be appointed. Some seats on the board are reserved for representatives of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) and the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE). These representatives have previously resisted attempts to get the board to clean up its act, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.
While it would be easy to poke fun and the shennanigans and incompetence that have brought the NSSF to this stage, it is important to remember that if the fund’s problems aren’t solved, it will not be the managers who suffer. Blameless workers who have done nothing but try to secure a decent pension could lose all their savings and face a retirement in penury. Our sympathy should be with them.
Update: as of 4pm GMT, the NSSF website’s “Latest News” section carried absolutely nothing on the sackings.
[Image by Prondis in Kenya]