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Vetting of Zimbabwe Pensioners Continues

  • Taurai Shava

Some of the pensioners seen Tuesday in Bulawayo. (Photo: Taurai Shava)

Some of the pensioners seen Tuesday in Bulawayo. (Photo: Taurai Shava)

The vetting of pensioners, which is part of the government’s civil service audit that is underway, continued Tuesday with some pensioners in Bulawayo raising concern that they have not been given enough information about the exercise.

Scores of pensioners converged at Milton Junior Primary School, the venue for vetting beneficiaries of state pensions in the Bulawayo metropolitan region.

Some of the pensioners, who spoke to Studio 7, said they did not have enough information about the exercise. Most said they got information about the exercise from third parties and did not know what was required of them or the documents they are expected to present.

A woman, who asked not to be identified but said she retired from the civil service on medical grounds, suggested that more people should be deployed to complete the exercise quickly as most pensioners are old and incapable of standing in queues for long periods.

Another senior citizen, Omen Mabingire, though worried about lack of information about the program, believes the exercise will help to weed out imposters who are reaping where they did not sow.

Studio 7 was not able to hear from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Government recently announced that the civil service would be audited to flush out the so-called ghost workers.

Researcher Butler Tambo of the Public Research Institute of Zimbabwe welcomed the audit.

But pointing to another audit that was carried out in 2013 which unearthed about 30,000 ghost workers, Tambo said the exercise would only be beneficial if the government takes action and punishes those caught with their hands in the till.

The government, which spends over 80 percent of its revenue on salaries for the civil service, is struggling to raise the money as the country's economy remains in intensive care.