Mphoko’s half smile after pension finally paid in Zim-dollars

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By Staff Reporter

EMBATTLED former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko will finally smile after government, through the Public Service Commission (PSC), has agreed to pay his pension.

However, his smile is certain to be a half one as government has committed to payment of his pension only and no other benefits.

In October this year, Mphoko filed an application for declaratory at the Bulawayo High Court seeking an order declaring the withholding of his pension by the government illegal and unconstitutional.

In his application, Mphoko, represented by Zibusiso Ncube, cited Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda; Civil Service Commission secretary Jonathan Wutaunashe; Salary Service Bureau paymaster Brighton Chuzingo and Civil Service Commission Director of pensions, one K Makiwa as first to fourth respondents.

In a letter dated 18 November 2019, the Public Service Commission, through the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office, also indicated that they intended to oppose Mphoko’s application, but the opposing time-frame had lapsed.

“We take note of your application filed on the 4th of October 2019 and served on the Public Service Commission on the 8th of October 2019, then subsequently briefed to us later.

“We also note that we are out of time for noting opposing affidavits on behalf of the respondents. We were therefore enquiring if you would be opposed to us for filing such opposing affidavits,” reads part of PSC’s letter to the former Vice President.

The PSC said in the event that they were denied the opportunity to file their opposing papers, they are prepared to pay Mphoko his pension only, in Zim dollars.

“Our client’s attitude on the matter, however, is that they will pay your client pension (ONLY) as provided for in the constitution and no other benefits.

“Further payment will be effected in Zim dollars in accordance with the prevailing laws of the country. The amount to be paid will also be subject to computation by pension office in consultation with Salary Service Bureau.

“Kindly let us know your attitude so that we map the way forward,” further reads the PSC‘s letter, also copied to Mphoko’s lawyers.

The lawyers are still to respond.

Mphoko, appointed to the top job by then President Robert Mugabe on December 10, 2014, was removed from the position in November 2017 following the military coup which ousted the country’s founding leader.