The Government has accepted the resignation of the chairperson of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), Dr Percy Toriro, who recently offered to step down before the expiry of his term citing his prolonged stay out of the country.
Dr Toriro, a renowned urban planning expert, has been out of the country for almost six months, doing urban planning consultancy in West Africa. He has been largely attending board meetings virtually. Dr Toriro was appointed in May 2021.
In his acceptance letter, Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavhima thanked Dr Toriro for diligently serving the state-run pension fund.
“I write to accept your resignation as NSSA board chair as per your correspondence dated May 8, 2023. I want to take this opportunity to thank you heartily for your exceptional service to NSSA and the nation at large,” said Prof Mavhima.
“Your unwavering commitment to the re-orientation and development of the NSSA board is invaluable, and I am deeply grateful for the time, energy, and expertise you have in the role (as) NSSA board chair.
“While we are saddened about your departure, we understand and respect your decision to pursue other opportunities.
“I, therefore, wish you all the best in your future endeavors and I am confident that you will continue to make Zimbabwe proud in your international engagements.”
Dr Toriro said that given the “distance and many commitments” outside the country, the decision to step down was in the best interests of NSSA and the country at large.
“I am happy it was a good ending,” said Dr Toriro. “Given the distance, it was the best thing (to do).”
In his request letter to Prof Mavhima, Dr Toriro said he remained occupied with consultancy work in West Africa and recommended the Government find his replacement.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Dr Toriro becomes the fifth chairperson to leave the board of NSSA in seven years.
Since 2015, NSSA has had four different boards and five general managers. Most of them were dismissed for allegedly being involved in the looting of public funds.
From 2015, since long-time serving general manager James Matiza left NSSA, the majority of his predecessors were kicked out for being involved in corrupt deals.
NSSA executives, board members, and Government ministers were also caught on the web.