Keeping You posted

With Trusted Zimbabwe News as well as Local and Regional Perspectives.

The Untold Story Of A Pensioner With Physical Impairment

By Shingirai vambe

Life has not been milk and honey for Sekuru Aibaki Kafunya-Phiri, an Allied Timbers pensioner surviving on USD $29.50 pension fund from NSSA which he collects on the 13th day of every month the after he was forced to down tools following a tragic road accident in 2009.

Sekuru Kafunya lives in Honde Valley, a rural settlement of Manicaland buttressed by Hauna shopping centre which carries Honde Valleys commercial value For over 10 years. The former Allied Timbers staff member has been saving his monthly pension and he has managed to construct an unfinished 2 roomed structure which has no windows and proper flooring.

While many people in the popular mountainous area survive on ploughing pine apples, bananas, sugarcanes, cucumbers, and guacamole Sekuru Kafunya always thanks God for seeing another day, once an engineer at Allied Timbers, a Manicaland based based timber processing company that was huge in the region during its prime life has turned out for the worst.

Every month he waits for NSSA funds to try and eat a decent meal, put on reasonable clothing for him and his grandson, a form 4 student and pay for any secondary medicine prescriptions. Apart from the unfortunate loss of his legs in a tragic accident in 2009, he survives on meagre NSSA fund which is 5% (USD$27) of the actual poverty datum line figure (USD 540).

Aibaki Kafunya-Phiri. Pic By Shingirai Vambe

“In June again l was given USD 27. In the following month, that is July I was given ZWL $15,000 and USD 27. USD dollars do not actually come every month, it confusing and not enough for me to go for next 30 days,” added Kafunya.

Physical impairment has restricted him from sourcing other income generating jobs to fend for his family and laments inconsistencies in NSSA fund which this month give out USD and other months RTGS, forcing him to find a suitable mode of transport to visit the nearest NSSA office in Mutare District.

“Here in Honde Valley life is expensive if you have bond notes (Zimbabwean currency). It’s very difficult to use them especially if they are few. ZWL $15 000 is hardly equivalent to USD 3 and this is what l am receiving from NSSA. I go for medical check-up every month at Hauna Business Centre and i am supposed to buy my pills because we can’t find them at the hospital,” said Kafunya.

NSSA has requested this publication for Kafunya’s details so that they can contact him.

Keen to understand his experiences during elections he said, “When it comes to voting l was assisted. My son pushed me to the polling as you can see l live on a high raised land. I arrived at the polling station, voted and I was assisted out of the polling station which by that time was full.”

However, his son was approached by unknown persons who asked for his father’s phone number, a distant from the polling station.

“Just after voting we, me and my son were approached by a car with people we do not know. They quickly asked if l had a phone number and we gave them.”

Kafunya is still in the process of finding money to go to seek assistance from NSSA. Though he has a wheel chair mobility to and from his house is difficult.