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Govt challenges Mphoko pension demand

Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda has challenged a High Court application by former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko demanding his pension from the government.

Mphoko filed an application to the same court in October 2019, seeking to be paid USD$320 000 as a pension for his services in government since 1981.  

According to his founding affidavit, Mphoko claims he joins the civil service in 1981 and served in different countries as the country`s envoy. 

Dr Sibanda’s application argues that Mphoko’s demands to be paid in United States Dollars is in contrary to the Reserve Bank Act which repealed SI 142/19.

“The claiming of local payments in USD is not permissible at law. Such an amount arrived at in such a manner would be inconsistent with the requirements of the law and for that reason, the application should be dismissed,” reads Dr Sibanda’s application.

“Even if the respondent were to be taken to be entitled to the pension and benefits he claims, he is only entitled to receive such in a manner which complies with section 44C 4(d) of the Reserve Bank Act which repealed SI 142/19. In the instant case, the Respondent is claiming pension in United States Dollars which is payable at the going rate.”

Dr Sibanda further argues that Mphoko’s claim for USD$320 000 is not clearly explained as to how he arrives at that amount.

“Applicant cannot simply convert what he used to earn then and convert it at the going bank rate without taking into consideration the changes brought in by the departure from the multi-currency regime.”

Mphoko in October 2019 approached the High Court with a grievance that the government had not compensated him for services he rendered from the time he joined the civil service to the time he was removed from office in November 2017.

“In terms of section 102(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, I am entitled to a pension which is equivalent to the salary of a sitting Vice-President. From the time I left office, I have not received a single dime in respect of my pension. The current Vice-President receives a monthly salary of approximately US$14 000 or the equivalent at the previous interbank rate. This, therefore, means that to date, the arrears are in the sum of US$308 000 or the equivalent at the prevailing interbank rate. Neither have I received any of my benefits,” Mphoko had submitted.

He had alleged that he was tossed from ‘pillar to post’ with no one prepared to deal with his matter. 

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