The Zambia National Pensioners Association (ZANAPA) is disappointed that its members were left out of the recent pay rise of eight percent awarded to civil servants.
ZANAPA Executive Secretary for Livingstone and Kazungula districts, Patrick Namakando wondered whether the omission was an oversight or due to a policy change by government.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Livingstone, Mr. Namakando said previous salary increments awarded to civil servants under the Patriotic Front government usually included pensioners.
He said he was surprised that ZANAPA members were not included in the last pay rise.
He explained that the increment due to pensioners was facilitated by the Ministry of Finance.
“As pensioners, we would like to find out from the Ministry of Finance, why we have been left out, and when we will receive an increment in our monthly pay,” he said.
Mr. Namakando further said omitting pensioners in the latest pay rise made them feel unappreciated and neglected, despite them offering valuable services to the country in their prime.
He has since appealed to government to empower pensioners and retirees in the same manner other groups such as artists were being empowered to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Other groups are being empowered while, we are left out and as a result, we have pensioners and retirees dying of depression. Government should also empower us since we are not spared from the effects of the pandemic,” Mr. Namakando said.
Mr. Namakando stressed that empowerment of retirees and pensioners was an investment for the country and as such, needed to be treated as a priority.
Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta acknowledged receiving a press query over the pensioners’ complaints but did not respond by press time.