BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
MASVINGO province has joined Bulawayo and Victoria Falls in lobbying pension authorities to pay pensioners sustainable stipends given the economic challenges in the country.
The development comes after Bulawayo pensioners launched the Bulawayo Pensioners Forum last November in order to get representation on issues regarding their pay-outs.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 500 000 pensioners who earn a paltry $1 500 monthly stipend when the poverty datum line is pegged at $20 000.
In an interview with the Southern Eye, Masvingo Pensioner’s Forum co-ordinator Charles Gonzi they had joined their counterparts in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls to ensure that pensioners get better stipends.
“As Masvingo province, we have joined NSSA (National Social Security Authority) pensioners’ forum with the aim of lobbying for better pay outs and benefits that are sustainable under the prevailing economic environment,” Gonzi said.
“We also want to lobby for NSSA to include pensioners’ representatives in their board. However, we are facing challenges getting in touch with most pensioners since most of them are not on WhatsApp platforms.”
Bulawayo Pensioners Forum co-ordinator Winos Dube said they are now pushing for a national structure that will represent all members at national level.
“We are happy that other provinces are joining in as this is a national issue. We are working on having a national structure that will represent pensioners at national level.
“We have been heavily disturbed by the COVID-19 lockdown because initially, we had planned that we would meet as provinces that have joined to come up with a way forward,” he said.
Dube recently said every province should come up with a structure for pensioners because they were facing the same problems.
He said the initiative had received a positive response from other pensioners across the country unhappy with their meagre payouts.
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