TUTWA QUERIES PENSION SCAM
THE plunder of Saturnia Pension Funds existing in multiple entities yesterday went to Parliament where Kabwe Central MP Tutwa Ngulube quizzed Minister of Finance, Margaret Mwanakatwe, on the true status of where abouts of the funds.
Mr. Ngulube wondered why the ministry had failed to deal decisively with the fund despite an order for a forensic audit last year.
Mr. Ngulube demanded to know who were running the fund and what Government was doing to ensure that the monies of retirees which was in limbo due to sinister activities by those who were running the fund were safe and why the audit report was still at large.
He also demanded to know the credibility of the PIA which some trustees had branded a “captured and compromised” entity which had failed to discharge its duties under the Pensions and Insurance Act.
“The people who have contributed regularly to that pensions fund do not know the status of their funds. Some of them have contributed to that fund for more than 20 years. Now, we are told in the Daily Nation newspaper that K70 million was lost. We want to find out from the Minister of Finance, whether she is in order not to tell the nation what the status of Saturnia Regna Pensions Fund is?
“We have been told and heard from reliable sources that Saturnia is a conduit for misappropriation of funds but is Government going to allow the pensioners to lose such huge amounts of money?” Mr Ngulube asked.
In responding to Mr. Ngulube’s point of order, First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala directed that a complaint must be filed in to compel Government to make its position known concerning alleged irregularities at Saturnia Regna Pensions Fund.
Ms Namugala directed that Mr. Ngulube needed to file in a complaint for the Minister of Finance to state Government’s position on the issue.
“The ruling of the chair is that obviously the Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central has been following this issue. He is even aware that a committee was constituted and that the former Minister of Finance had made a statement in the past regarding this fund.
“The Minister sits in this house together with the Honourable Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central and the MP has the privilege to simply file in a question for urgent answer and the minister would give him the current status regarding this pension fund,” Ms Namugala said.
Over K70 million in share value has been lost by Saturnia Regna Pension contributors in an illadvised investment bulldozed by fund managers who ignored the advice of authorised fund trustees who opposed the venture.
According to the Saturnia Regna Pension Trust Fund financial statements for the year ended December, 2016, the Fund holds 3, 815, 796 shares in Lafarge Cement which were valued at K89, 442, 258.00 in 2015 but the value had plummeted to a meagre K19, 765, 823.00 by the end of 2016.