Banks petition Mnangagwa over exorbitant NSSA deductions

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) has petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the exorbitant deductions of contributions towards the National Social Security Authority’s scheme.

Through NSSA, the Labour Minister is empowered to establish social security schemes for the provision of benefits to all employees upon sustaining injuries, work related fatalities and retirement, among other arrangements.

But speaking to Business soon after handing in the petition to OPC, ZIBAWU acting secretary general, Shepherd Ngandu, said a plea was made for the urgent reconsideration of NASA’s current onslaught on poorly paid workers.

He criticised Statutory Instrument 169 of 2021 for enabling the authority to deduct a maximum of 75% of the previous month Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for a family of five as a tool being manipulated by the authority to deduct monthly contributions for workers.

“As a result, the ceiling of contributions has increased from ZW$30 032 in January 2022 to ZW$159 530 for April to June 2022 representing an astronomical 365,22%.

“What boggles the mind is that in some instances, the authority has even gone to the extent of effecting adjustments which are way above what is provided in S I 169/2021 at a time when workers’ salaries have not been correspondingly adjusted,” said Ngandu.

The union leader urged the head of state to consider the manner in which such a tax burden worsens the plight of workers.

He said workers in the financial services sector in Zimbabwe and the general populace are reeling with high taxes and unmitigated currency depreciation, and this not only ravages disposable incomes, but also renders concluded industrial collective bargaining an exercise in futility.

“Worse still, we are not seeing the benefit of the high taxes we are paying as pensioners continue to receive very low payouts. The most worrying thing is that we are aware that there is an alleged corruption scandal at NSSA being investigated by ZACC.

“We therefore appealed through the President’s highly esteemed office for a cabinet intervention, which draws the matter to the attention of the Labor Ministry and the Tripartite Negotiating Forum, for a more sustainable arrangement that can be formulated taking into account the realities on the ground,” he added.