THE boardroom fights at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) took a new twist yesterday with fired former general manager Elizabeth Chitiga being barred from entering her office to resume her duties after her lawyers challenged her expulsion.
BY Everson Mushava
Chitiga arrived at NSSA headquarters at around 11am before security guards blocked her from entering her office on the 10th floor.
The guards claimed they had received orders not to allow Chitiga and former board chairperson Robin Vela from entering the premises.
The guards later produced a prohibition order dated April 17 and signed by one Choto, a NSSA commissionaire.
The order read: “With immediate effect, our CEO Liz Chitiga and Mr Vela (chairman), have been barred to access NSSA head office following an executive instruction. For any queries, contact Mr Garwi on 7068 or Mr Choto on 7064. Make sure that the instruction will be adhered to.”
Chitiga was fired early this month together with three other executives.
But Chitiga, through her lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa wrote to NSSA on April 9, challenging her dismissal and gave the pension authority until April 12 to respond or she automatically reports back to work.
Mtetwa argued that the NSSA board had no authority to cancel Chitiga’s contract.
“Your letter also advises that ‘the board has decided to bring forward the expiry of your fixed term of employment contract’. We have perused the employment contract signed between our client and the authority and have failed to find in it any provision that empowers the board to unilaterally, and without any form of due process, ‘accelerate’ the expiry of the employment contract,” Mtetwa wrote.
“Would you, therefore, kindly advise the clause or provision in the contract that empowers the board ‘to bring forward the expiry’ of the employment contract between our client and the authority. Should there be any other conditions of service which empower the board to accelerate the expiry of the contract, or any other legal instruments recognised under the Labour Act which the board has relied upon, we request that you fully set out the legal instruments under which the Board has purported to act.”
She added: “If we therefore have not heard from you by April 12, 2018, please be advised that our client will thereafter report for work.”
NSSA spokesperson, Tendai Mutseyekwa said he was not aware of the incident.