The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says it will reject a proposal by government to have the country’s tax authority collect the pension levy on behalf of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said reports that the Finance ministry, through the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), was moving towards collection of the national pension scheme levy on behalf NSSA would be resisted alleging that the Zimra had no capacity to do so and this would expose pensioners to more suffering.
“As labour, we are very sceptical of this move as there is a possibility of the government failing to eventually transfer to NSSA the monies so collected,” he said.
“We would like to avoid a repeat of what workers experienced in 2008, when they all lost their pensions after the economic collapse. The government might divert the money to other purposes. There is also a possibility that the funds will be looted and used for political programmes.”
Although ZCTU did not disclose who had indicated that Zimra wanted to take over the collection of the pension levy on behalf of NSSA, the union, which has the largest affiliation in the country, said from their understanding, the authority would be charged a 10% collection fee on total collections which translates to about $23 million annually from a total collection of $230 million
“Government currently owes NSSA over $100 million and cannot be entrusted with that responsibility of collection of the levy,” Moyo said.
“The ZCTU is prepared to organise its members to resist the move. We call upon President Robert Mugabe and the Finance minister (Patrick Chinamasa) to stop this move before it is too late.”
Zimra commissioner-general Gershom Pasi could not be reached for comment yesterday.