FORMER Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel) employees are demanding that their pensions be paid in United States Dollars since they made pension contributions in that currency.
Ziscosteel stopped production at its Redcliff plant over a decade ago at its Redcliff plant.
The company brought to its knees following years of mismanagement, gross incompetence, corruption and political interference.
Its closure workers stranded and without terminal benefits.
Their representative Benedict Moyo, who also sits of the Ziscosteel pensions board of trustees said: “Ziscosteel retrenched it’s entire group employees on 31 August 2016. Pension payouts rules say that once one is terminated, resigns etc, then one must be paid out their pension within three months,” Moyo said.
“Zisco employees contributed to the pension scheme using US Dollars. On retrenchment, the government of Zimbabwe took over the company’s debt through the Zisco Debt Assumption Act while the Zisco pension fund is administered by First Mutual Life who took it from Old Mutual,” Moyo explained.
“A verification exercise was done by FML on individual’s payout. Government then passed a law saying that the Zimbabwean is rated to the US Dollar on 1:1 in 2019 through a Statutory Instrument. Afterwards, the government delayed the payouts until today,” he said.
He said the board of trustees (BOT) for the former employees does not agree with the 1:1 arrangement.
“As BOT of the Zisco Pension Scheme, we do not agree with the position of paying out at 1:1. The government must have a heart for its citizens by paying out in the currency that the former employees contributed or at worst payout at interbank rate. It’s not a secret that our currency’s value has been eroded. We have put our grievance to ministry of Finance and the Pensions and Insurance Commission so that the plight of former Zisco employees is attended to before the inhumane proposed payouts,” Moyo said.