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Ex-tobacco worker not abandoned: Nssa

Local News
Nssa spokesperson Tendai Mutseyekwa challenged Makumbirofa to avail documents as requested so that he can be assisted.

THE National Social Security Authority (Nssa) has refuted allegations that it abandoned former Mashonaland Tobacco Company worker Donald Makumbirofa who injured his back while at work.

Nssa spokesperson Tendai Mutseyekwa challenged Makumbirofa to avail documents as requested so that he can be assisted.

Mutseyekwa said Makumbirofa had not submitted the required documents.

“Nssa administers the Pensions and Other Benefits Scheme (POBS) and the Accident Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Scheme (APWCS).

“Under POBS contributions are from both employer and employee while APWCS is wholly funded by the employer,’’ Mutseyekwa said.

He said Mukumbirofa submitted claims to both schemes.

“His invalidity claim under POBS was rejected by the Nssa doctor who advised that he was not invalid. For someone to be declared invalid, they must be permanently incapacitated of working as a result of any disease or mental disablement. The person must also be below the age of 60.

“This does not, however, imply that future benefits under this scheme which include retirement benefit and funeral benefit would be rejected when they fall due,” Mutseyekwa said.

He added that Makumbirofa’s claim under APWCS would be considered after he provided Nssa with the requisite documents, as communicated to him.

“He claims that he was injured on duty, but information gathered to date suggests that his back ache started as far back as 2019. Such a case is referred to as a gradual case.

“For Nssa to determine whether his back ache is work-related or not the worker must provide his treatment history in the form of outpatient cards, X-rays, scans and others.

“When he presented his prescription from Karoi Hospital, he was advised to submit his treatment history to enable adjudication of his claim. Given the above, it is, therefore, incorrect to conclude that Makumbirofa was abandoned by Nssa,” Mutseyekwa said.

But Makumbirofa, who has threatened to commit suicide at MTC Karoi depot, claimed that his paperwork has not been submitted by his former bosses.

“It is not true that I did not have required documentation as requested. I suffered the back injury in 2020 when I was assigned to fumigate the premises during COVID-19 era,” he said.

Makumbirofa blamed former manager Beatrice Mashandudze.

“She did not give Nssa required documents and it is not my duty as a contract worker to ask how officials deal with authorities on our behalf. I am aggrieved that I am being denied medication, I can’t afford to pay for injectable medication to help with the pain I am suffering daily.”

MTC financial director Walker Ntini said they complied with the requirements.

“Where there are issues, the workers have various channels, internal and legal to get redress. Going to the media is a publicity stunt, which doesn’t change anything.

“We are 100% compliant with all of Zimbabwean laws and regulations. MTC is fully compliant. We are one of the largest tobacco merchants and are very visible to the authorities,” he said.

Makumbirofa is no longer sexually active and for the past five years he has been battling to secure monthly medication which costs less than US$8.

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