Pensioners who retired from local authorities and municipalities are wallowing in poverty as the Local Authorities Pension Fund (LAPF) is failing to disburse their one third lump sums as well as monthly payouts.

Despite sitting on a balance sheet valued at more than US$200 million, LAPF is failing to give pensioners their payouts leaving thousands of them living in abject poverty.

Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Progressive Pensioners Trust (ZIMPPET) Mr Wellington Zunde said they are concerned with the plight of their members who contributed to the fund for the entire work life.

“Pensioners are always coming to our offices saying that they should apply to get their pensions. If you look at the way the employees and directors of LAPF live you will see that they are heartless,” he said.

Pensioners interviewed by the ZBC News vented their frustrations at the way they are being treated by the fund.

“I retired in 2014 but up to now i have to get my full pension. They tell me to apply for my pension,” said one pensioner while the said; “My mother died even before she got her full pension and there is no communication as to how much is left despite making enquiries”.

The chief executive officer of the fund Mr Charles Mandizvidza blamed the situation on the difficult operating environment.

“Local authorities are not remitting their contributions to us on time. The dollarisation of the economy also affected the pension values of our members,” said Mr Mandizvidza. 

LAPF owns more than 50 flagship properties in and around the country which include Jameson Hotel in Harare.

In 2015, the government set up a commission of inquiry after public outcry that contributors were prejudiced of their insurance and pension contributions.

The recommendations of the commission are yet to be implemented by the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC).