Chinamasa stealing from government workers
By Jacob Mafume
Recent confessions by the Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, that the government is in arrears to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in remittances for civil servants pensions, medical aid and other stop order payments is startling and betray the carefree attitude of the Zanu PF government.
With regards to pensions, Chinamasa confessed that the government is in arrears of over US$170 million which has not been remitted to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) yet it claims to have deducted the money from the pay slip. For Premier Services Medical Aid Services (PSMAS), the government acknowledged arrears of over US$98 million and for other stop orders it is in debts of over US$10 million.
This huge backlog was accumulated from September 2013 to date and was part of a prolonged fraudulent scheme by government to steal from workers on the back of claims of settling statutory obligations as well as stop order payments. The scandal is that the government has been focused on spending money it does not have in satisfying the unquenchable appetites of President Mugabe and his cabal who globe trot each week with no agenda for national development.
What this means is that the government is deducting the money from the civil servants’ salaries and unashamedly indicate on pay slips when they are not remitting. As a result, hardworking people who have served the government for a longtime find themselves one illness away from death yet they have religiously paid for their medical insurance with PSMAS.
More worryingly, government greed is creating a huge social crisis as most workers would retire without any money deposited in their pension accounts by the state as required at law. Consequently all the retirees would face immediate destitution after years of honest and faithful service to the government.
This is unacceptable and has to be stopped hence the government workers and their representatives must take the government to the courts on the matter as the government actions are patently unlawful and constitute an unprecedented class fraud.
Moreover, the civil service unions must join together and engage in a class action in demanding remittances of their pensions as the current fraud will haunt their members when they retire.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is of the view that social security and pension management system must be overhauled. The PDP government will put in place a modern and electronic pension management system that would give monthly updates to the members as to how much their pension is worth at each deduction.
On social security the PDP has a framework for various grants to target the most vulnerable groups in our country such as orphans, the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed and the chronically ill. The scope of these policy thrusts is to create a socially just society where all citizens get equal access to life opportunities.