By Staff Reporter
At least 14 councils have been named on the Insurance and Pensions Commission’s (IPEC) list of 50 companies that have failed to pay employee pensions.
Gweru, Harare, Chitungwiza, Bulawayo, Karoil, Kadoma, Victoria Falls, Masvingo, Bindura, Red Cliff, Chinhoyi, and Plumtree are part of the 50.
IPEC’s annual report was gazetted last December.
The total amount of urban local authorities’ unpaid pensions funds amount to a staggering ZW $1,424,337,212.87.
Also included is Tsholotsho Rural District owing employees ZW$40, 026, 798.12 in unpaid pension arrears.
A Legacy of Debt
In 2021, the country’s pensions and insurance organizations owed over $ZW3,38 billion in contributions deducted from employee salaries.
Ironically, urban service delivery has declined over the years compounded by a series of factors which include corruption and maladministration.
However, in a recent circular, IPEC expressed concern that councils were deducting pension contributions but not remitting them to pension funds.
This leads to council workers being exposed to poverty after retirement as there are no benefits at the pension fund.
In the past, urban local governments have blamed central government for poor service delivery.
Councils say the Ministry of Local Government is responsible for their failure to deliver due to interference.
However, to date, no entity on IPEC’s list has issued a statement explaining why they have failed to remit funds.
Majority of Zimbabwe’s urban councils have often linked poor service delivery with non payment of rates.
Critics say it is likely they will link non payment of pension funds to the same issue.