PENSIONERS have resorted to sleeping in bank queues after the government reportedly failed to deposit their payouts for last month. The pensioners were due to receive their monies on November 30 but the date was moved to Thursday last week.
However, by the end of business hours yesterday they were still to receive the payouts.
Long winding queues have been the order of the day at banks since Thursday last week as pensioners wait to get their money.
Disgruntled senior citizens yesterday said it was unfair for the government not to remit their payouts.
“We were getting our salaries every month-end but government shifted our salaries to Thursday last week. But up to now we haven’t been paid,” said Khalani Moyo from Filabusi. “It’s more painful because the government isn’t communicating on the issue. We’re sleeping in queues like refugees.”
Moyo said he no longer has money to travel to his rural home and has become a burden to his relatives in the city. “They should pay us our money. I only came to get paid but now I’m stuck in the city. I can’t even travel back home,” Moyo said.
Another pensioner Mike Ncube from Entumbane in Bulawayo said the government should clarify when they will receive their money.
Ncube said it was unjust that other government departments have been paid and pensioners are being forgotten. “We’ve families to look after. We worked for this money just like others. We don’t expect to be segregated from other civil servants. Can the Public Service Commission explain to us why we’re not being paid,” said Ncube.
Dorcas Shumba said the government’s failure to pay has become a serious inconvenience for pensioners.
She said pensioners were not immune to daily challenges and needed their payouts.
Some of them said they were renting houses in the city and their landlords have become impatient with their daily excuses.
“We need to buy food for our children and even pay rent. My landlord is becoming impatient with me. The government should pay us our money as the situation has become desperate,” said a pensioner who declined to be named.
The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Service Prisca Mupfumira could not be reached for comment yesterday.