THE government has offered former vice president Phelekezela Mphoko $765 706,58 as pension benefits against his US$320 000 demands.
This comes after Mphoko approached the court declaring government’s decision to withhold his US$320 000 pension illegal and unconstitutional.
In his application, Mphoko cited Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda, Public Service Commission (PSC) secretary Jonathan Wutaunashe, Salary Service Bureau paymaster Brighton Chuzingo and Civil Service Commission director of pensions, a K Makiwa.
Mphoko wants the government to pay him his US$320 000 at the prevailing interbank rate.
However, Sibanda — who is responsible for the administration of pensions and benefits of former presidents and vice presidents — opposed Mphoko’s claim, saying he is entitled to receive a pension that complies with section 44C (d) of the Reserve Bank Act which repealed Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019.
Sibanda argued that the former vice president did not explain how he arrived at US$320 000.
“The applicant cannot simply convert what he used to earn at the going bank rate without taking into consideration the changes brought in by the departure of the multicurrency regime.
“In this regard therefore, there is a dispute as to what respondent may be entitled to.
“I have in the circumstances asked for computation to be done by the pensions office as regards the amount due and payable to Mphoko and I am reliably informed that the amount is $765 706,58,” Sibanda submitted.
Sibanda added that the government is prepared to enter into a settlement with Mphoko provided he is willing to accept the offer put on the table.
In his affidavit, Mphoko said he joined the civil service in October 1981 and is entitled to his benefits and pension.
He was appointed vice president in December 2014, until he was removed from office in November 2017 following a coup that toppled the late former president Robert Mugabe.
Mphoko argued that in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, he was entitled to a pension which is equivalent to the salary of a sitting vice president.