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Zimbabwe pensioners scoff at US$15 NSSA grocery vouchers

by Staff reporter
25 Jun 2022 at 08:36hrs | Views
Pensioners have scoffed at the $10 000 (US$15)  once-off grocery voucher offered by National Social Security Authority (NSSA), describing it as a mockery to a lifetime of service and dedicated contribution to the development of the country.

NSSA on Thursday announced that it would give pensioners and beneficiaries grocery and cushioning allowances of $10 000 in addition to their monthly pensions.

But pensioners who spoke to NewsDay Weekender said there was nothing to celebrate, with pensioner Clorice Gumbo saying the allowances were a drop in the ocean.

"We have entrusted all our life savings with NSSA, but we have now been made destitute by the organisation which pays us starvation remittances every month. It does not even adequately cater for those injured at work," she said.

Peter Mutasa, the secretary-general of the Banking Sector Trade Union, said there was need for a forensic audit at NSSA.

"As a trade union in the banking sector, we feel NSSA has been using workers' money for a very long time. These are people who have contributed billions of dollars to NSSA, but NSSA has been abusing their pension contribution. We need a forensic audit," he said.

No comment could be obtained from NSSA.

But in an earlier statement, NSSA said: "The allowances will be paid through beneficiaries' usual bank accounts and access to the funds may vary from bank to bank. Payment of a onceoff cushioning allowance equivalent to a month's pension will be done next week.

"The grocery and cushioning allowances are in addition to the usual monthly pension pay-outs that beneficiaries have already received this month. Nssa management will continue to seek ways to assist beneficiaries against current hardships brought by the drastic spike in the cost of living."

Recently, trade unions and workers' representatives bemoaned low pension pay-outs by the government, with some retirees getting US$35 after decades of loyal service.

In April, the Insurance and Pensions Commission said it was putting measures to improve benefits for pensioners after 53% of the complaints it handled in the fourth quarter of 2021 were related to low pension values.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe