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‘We are dying in poverty’: NSSA pensioners petition Parliament

HORDES of pensioners are dying on daily basis owing to the unsustainable meagre monthly payouts that they are receiving from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), it has emerged.

This was revealed in a strongly worded petition by the NSSA pensioners directed to Parliament.

NSSA Pensioners is a grouping of thousands of pensioners drawn from different parts of the country who comprise permanent residents of Zimbabwe who have worked and contributed to the NSSA pension fund until retirement.

The petition dated May 30 which seeks a review of their monthly payouts was also copied to the minister of Public Service, Labour and Social welfare as well as NSSA. 

“Generally, the monthly pension payouts are our source of income and livelihood. This monthly income is not sufficient to sustain the pensioner, let alone his/her family and other legal dependents. We are living in very difficult times, currently, thousands of pensioners are living under the poverty datum line. 

“The pensioners are marginalised and are struggling to make ends meet and put adequate food on their tables. The minimum NSSA pension payout for widows is RTGS 2800, 00, which is USD5.60 on the parallel market per month,” reads the petition signed by its Hwange-based leader Milford Nkomo.

The pensioners, however, said while they were cognisant of the harsh economic climate they didn’t to deserve to die in such a cruel and pathetic manner.

“We need to be convinced that belts are being tightened across NSSA cost centres in line with the adverse conditions. We made our financial contributions and partly in hard currency. We have trusted that actuarial due prudence has been accordingly applied to safeguard the fund. Our view is that USD20.40 per month falls short of what we deserve.

“As we all know, the cost of living in Zimbabwe has been on an upward trajectory for the past few years. The local currency in which pensioners are paid is relentlessly under siege, making basic commodities unaffordable. This has relegated pensioners into abject poverty with the experience of wanton sickness and many deaths among our members.” 

The pensioners said it was their hope that the Parliament of Zimbabwe will deliberate on the plight of the nation’s pensioned senior citizens and bring back the “mudyandigere” concept into pensions.

“Being on pension should not continue being a death sentence to former workers who made huge contributions to the growth of the nation during their working years.”

Meanwhile, Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda confirmed receiving the petition, in a response dated June 8, 2022.  

“I write to advise that your petition is admissible and an announcement shall be made in the National Assembly when it next sits,” Chokuda said.

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One Comment

  1. As a NSSA pensioner life has become very difficult for me and my wife,the $20 monthly pension buys 2 lts cooking oil, flour and sugar no mealie meal.We need $20 every month to buy hypertension medication,we need electricity,transport and rent. I now go to the bush to get roots to try and control my hypertension because I cant afford to buy medicines,we are hungry, all NSSA pensioners are going to die very soon if the situation continues like this many are saying it is better to die than leave in such poverty.

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