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NSSA entities to choose independent board chairpersons

THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) says it does not recommend independent board chairpersons for subsidiaries but that responsibility lies in board nomination committees, as the deadline set by the board expires today.

REPORT BY NDAMU SANDU

A NSSA board resolution stipulated that its subsidiaries should have independent board chairpersons on or before June 30.

“If the current chairman retires or resigns that board has a right to pick a replacement,” NSSA general manager, James Matiza told Standardbusiness.

Matiza’s remarks come at a time speculation has been rife that NSSA was looking for suitable candidates to chair subsidiaries’ boards.
Two NSSA subsidiaries — Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) and Capital Bank — are still to elect independent board chairpersons and comply with the resolution.

Industrialist, Joseph Kanyekanye chairs the two boards.

NSSA’s other subsidiary, First Mutual Holdings Limited (FMHL), recently appointed an independent board chairman, Oliver Mtasa following the resignation of Innocent Chagonda.

NSSA appointed board chairpersons of its subsidiaries to help drive the turnaround of the companies that had slipped into financial and governance problems. The board resolved that NSSA nominated board chairpersons should step down, as the subsidiaries had been stabilised.

It moved into FMHL last year in a US$24 million deal that also involved ReNaissance Merchant Bank (now Capital Bank).

At FMHL, NSSA has managed to recapitalise its subsidiaries and restructure the main board in line with recommendations from the insurance regulator who had said some board members should leave the group. Patterson Timba, Dunmore Kundishora, Daud Dube and Norman Nyazema were voted out of the board by FMHL shareholders last year.

Despite failing to deliver a profit, Capital Bank has shed off the bad image of the former ReNaissance Merchant Bank that slipped into curatorship in 2011 after the abuse of depositors’ funds.

At RTG, NSSA and the hospitality group’s other shareholder, Nicholas van Hoogstraten buried their differences and the group was recapitalised to the tune of US$14,5 million through a medium term loan (US$10 million) and US$4,5 million from existing shareholders.

The group is now considered stable, necessitating the need for the NSSA representative to step down as chairperson.

Meanwhile, RTG board member Rosa Dube resigned from the board two weeks ago. Her reasons for resigning were unclear, though it is understood that Dube had stormed out of a recent board meeting after clashing with a fellow board member.

Her resignation was discussed at the NSSA board meeting last week.

Kanyekanye said he had not received Dube’s resignation letter.

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