Senate has passed the Older Persons Bill into law, a development which will see those above 60 being exempted from paying utility bills, receiving free health care as well as other benefits.
Labour and Social Services Minister, Mrs Paurina Mpariwa said the increasing number of vulnerable elderly people who were suffering and were failing to access crucial services had become a source of worry for government, hence the passing of the law.
“The passing of the bill was long overdue and we are happy to announce that the new law will go a long way in cushioning the elderly,” said Mrs Mpariwa.
Most elderly people in Zimbabwe are suffering in silence after pensions were eroded during the hyper inflationary era.
Some of those who have retired are receiving as little as US$20 per month, an amount which is insignificant and cannot see them through the month.
Zimbabwe now joins other countries in the region which have such laws and are currently providing older people with income security.
Zimbabwe was the first country in Africa to draft the Bill in 2002 following the Madrid International Plan of Action in ageing, which recommended that African states should develop policy and legislation to improve the living standards of older persons.
However, it has only become law 10 years later.