Pensioners gobble $500m

Source: Pensioners gobble $500m | The Herald June 24, 2016

Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT paid 400 000 civil service pensioners about $500 million last year alone, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said. He was responding to a question on Wednesday in Parliament by MDC-T MP for Bulawayo South, Mr Eddie Cross. Mr Cross sought to know the number of civil service pensioners on the Government system in 2015 and the amount of money they were paid.

Minister Chinamasa presented a table of the number of the pensioners from January to December last year with the numbers fluctuating between 377 000 and 397 000 while the monthly pension bill was $39,8 million.

In January there were 377 228 pension beneficiaries, 396 298 in February and 380 496 in March. The number went up to 388 162 in April but came down to 380 844 in May before going up to 382 856 in June.

In July 2015, the total number of pensioners came down to 381 260 while in August there were 381 934 before shooting up to 389 174 in September the same year.

The total number came down to 381 428 in October rising to 389 174 in November while in December there were 377 342 pensioners on the Government system.

The total amount spent between January and December last year was $477, 6 million. Mr Cross also asked Minister Chinamasa the total value of duty-free certificates for imports between 2014 and 2014.

“Duty free certificates are used for duty free clearance of imported goods for the exclusive use of Government,” said Minister Chinamasa. “In line with Treasury Circular No. 13 of 2005, in 2014 and 2015, about $292 million and $258,5 million worth of goods were imported by Government departments respectively.

“Duty free certificates cannot be used to clear goods for individuals, parastatals, local authorities or similar organisations formed through an Act of Parliament.

“However, it is important to note that some Government departments, particularly Ministry of Health and Child Care also receives donated goods from external donors. The goods are also cleared using duty free certificates.”

Minister Chinamasa said some critical Government departments used retained funds to import goods for their operations but mechanisms were put in place to avoid a situation where officials abused the facility to import goods for private use.

Meanwhile, Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa says Government and South Sudan have not yet reached an agreement for the exportation of State registered nurses to that country.

He was responding to a question on whether Government was aware of advertisements in the media inviting State registered nurses to seek employment in South Sudan.

“Both the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the South Sudanese Embassy are not aware of the advert in the media inviting State Registered Nurses to seek employment in South Sudan,” said Minister Parirenyatwa.

“This was only brought to the attention of the Ministry through the question from Parliament. If there are any advertisements to be done, this will have to be discussed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Health Services Board, guided by consultations at the appropriate levels. Work is still in progress on a Government to Government agreement with the South Sudanese Government on a bilateral agreement on export of health workers.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    harper 6 years ago

    We do not gobble anybody else’s money we merely have returned to us the 14.5% deducted from our wages each month for the entire time we were employed.