By Own Correspondent

A Showdown between the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and its pensioners is looming as calls for an upward review of monthly payouts gets louder with beneficiaries complaining that current rates are too low for survival.

Addressing the Public Service Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, NSSA Pensioners Advocacy representative, Denford Mangwiro, said pensioners were failing to make ends meet with their meagre monthly earnings.

NSSA is crurrently paying US$50-00 per month which pensioners  said was  adequate to meet the daily costs for essential needs.

“We have no money to go to the hospital, no money to buy food, no money even to get transport to the bank to get the little that is available at the end or beginning of the month. What we are faced with is in a sense, a national disaster because at the end of the day, while we are suffering like this, we have the youth, we have people who are working, that will have the same challenge when they go on pension unless something changes and change drastically,” he said.

He added that pensioners’ rights were being violated, while alleging that the  NSSA management was abusing the pension fund.

“Pensioners are starving, their legal dependents are failing to access reasonable health services and their dependents are being chased away from school and failing to pay school fees which is contrary to Section 75 of the Constitution- the right to Education and Section 76, the Right to health care. Pensioners have been denied their right to decent accommodation too,” he said.

NSSA Acting General Manager, Charles Shava, acknowledged the low payouts saying the authority had previously paid a minimum pension of up to US$100-00 per but this figure had subsequently fallen to around US$30-00, before being increased to the current US$50 per month.

“Our pensioners are demanding immediate pension relief, for the past two years, we have been revising our payouts from January 2022 to about September 2023 every month taking into account the inflation that was going on. We only review our payouts upwards once we feel we have enough resources’” said Shava.

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