HARARE – Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira has blamed her Finance counterpart Patrick Chinamasa for inconveniencing pensioners by failing to communicate in time when Treasury has failed to raise money to pay them.
Mupfumira said this in the Senate last week while responding to MDC legislator Lillian Timveos who wanted to know what policy government has put in place to ensure that pensioners residing in rural areas do not spend weeks waiting to be paid.
“We see our pensioners staying for more than a week waiting for their pensions. What policy have you put in place, so that they can actually just go and collect their money without waiting for long?,” Timveos asked.
While noting that the country was facing serious liquidity challenges, she said Treasury was having “a challenge almost every month, trying to meet the requirements including payment to our pensioners.”
Mupfumira said under normal circumstances, Chinamasa should inform the Public Service Commission and herself, if there are any changes to the payment of wages and salaries.
“If we are informed, we would pass on the information to our pensioners. I have noticed with concern that there have been incidences where the pay dates have been changed at the last moment without adequate time for us to inform our pensioners,” she lamented.
Since last year, government has been struggling to raise funds to pay its workers, including pensioners, and has had to postpone pay dates on several occasions.
But Mupfumira said she would take up the matter with Chinamasa’s ministry “to ensure that any changes must be communicated well in time so that the pensioners do not waste their money coming and having to wait for long.”
“It has happened and it is something which we will actively pursue with the relevant minister, otherwise we would have our normal dates but because of the challenges that we are facing, it happens sometimes we cannot pay on the due dates”.
She also said her ministry was working on other methods of paying pensioners.