BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
HUMAN rights lawyers have accused the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) of causing more hardships to the country’s workers by increasing mandatory monthly pension contributions by more than 300%.
In a statement to commemorate International Workers Day, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said workers had been further impoverished following a massive hike in monthly pension contributions last month.
Most Nssa pensioners get between US$60 and US$100 as their monthly stipends.
“The authorities are also urged to desist from burdening workers in the country with excessive taxes and other mandatory contributions that are adding to the economic woes of workers. ZLHR notes with regret that in April 2022, the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) mandatory contributions were increased by over 300%,” ZLHR said.
Nssa, which runs the country’s compulsory pension scheme, was set up by the government to manage the mandatory pension scheme for both the private and public sectors.
The human rights lawyers warned that the massive increases in monthly pension contributions will severely affect workers who are battling to make ends meet following the recent increases in the prices of goods and services.
“This steep increase in contributions will significantly reduce the disposable income of workers in the country. Such a drastic increase in mandatory contributions is particularly devastating to workers who are already grappling with high inflation and a weak economy. ZLHR, therefore, urges the authorities to prioritise the welfare of workers by desisting from imposing excessive taxes and high mandatory contributions.”
This year’s International Workers Day was commemorated on Sunday with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions holding its main event in Dzivaresekwa, Harare, where the union’s leader Florence Taruvinga called on employers to pay workers in United States dollars as the local currency was losing value.
The commemorations were attended by Labour minister Paul Mavima and representatives of the main political parties.