By Shingirai Vambe
Harare- The Parliament of Zimbabwe is currently seized with the long pending matter of pensions which Zimbabwean citizens set eyes in receiving as compensation of the 2008-9 lost value before the end of this year.
Addressing delegates during the media awards ceremony organized by the Insurance and Pension Commission (IPEC), the minister of finance and economic development, Mthuli Ncube said the compensation framework was already complete awaiting gazetting.
The 2008-9 era is a historic period for the nation as it went through interesting though sad events as one would get money in the morning from the bank, and later in the day would not buy a loaf of bread.
Zimbabweans lost confidence in the local currency and adopted the US dollar. The economy stabilized but still the insurance and pension industry failed to recover, the same way banks did.
“Government notes the pension and insurance sectors’ investments in prescribed assets in 2022, which amounted to ZWL$74 billion and ZWL$41 billion, consulting 7 percent and 9 percent of the industry assets, respectively.
“These levels are below the prescribed levels for the insurance and pensions industry, which is regrettable. I call upon the sector to comply with the statutory requirements,” Proff Ncube said.
For the past weeks, legislators have been debating on the relative bill, pushing for full compensation and abolishment of other insurance such as the 3rd part which they claim is not helping citizens in any way but rather making insurance companies rich.
Majority of citizens are not well acquainted with the process of making claims and while in the health sector, it seems to be an irredeemable situation with medical aids where one is asked to top up or for co-payment.
During the reading of the commission of inquiry report by Justice Smith, gazette on March 5 2018, parliament took note of about US $328,5 million which the country’s pensioners had lost during the period. The report states that, regardless of the heartless situation, the insurance and pension sector including the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) had assets which ballooned about US $5,13 billion.
Read the statement, “The inquiry has established that total assets in the insurance and pension industry including NSSA worth about US$5,13 billion in December 1996, US$3,69 in December 2008 and US$5,1 billion in December 2014, have been disposed of. Assets value for the period, 1996 to 2008 are however, understand due to the fact that big institutions such as old mutual, first Mutual, ZB life, Fidelity and Comarton Consultant failed to provide accurate, consistent and reliable asset values for the period prior to dollarization”.
Proff Ncube is optimistic of restoring confidence in the market through this compensation.
During the evening ceremony, 15 journalists from across the country collected accolades for extensively covering the sector.
IPEC Commissioner, Grace Muradzikwa earlier told journalist that the position paper is already with the Attorney General and soon the compensation process will begin.