Ex-VP wants US$300k pension

FORMER Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has approached the High Court seeking an order directing the Government, through the Public Service Commission (PSC) to award him more than US$300 000 in benefits and monthly pension payouts.

Mr Mphoko, through his lawyer Mr Zibusiso Ncube of Ncube and Partners, on Wednesday filed an application for declaratur at the High Court in Bulawayo, citing Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, PSC secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutaunashe, Salary Services Bureau paymaster Mr Brighton Chuzingo and PSC pensions master, one K Makiwa, as respondents.

He wants an order declaring the withholding of his pension by the Government as illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Mphoko is also seeking an order directing the respondents to facilitate and pay him US$308 000 or the equivalent in local currency at the prevailing interbank rate.

In his founding affidavit, Mr Mphoko said having joined the civil service in October 1981, he was entitled to his benefits and pension.

“This is an application for a declarator to declare unconstitutional the withholding of my pension by the respondents and for ancillary relief. I joined the civil service in October 1981 and served as an Ambassador of Zimbabwe to various countries. On December 10, 2014, I was appointed to the position of Vice President of the country, a position I held until I was removed from office in November 2017,” he said.

Mr Mphoko argued that in terms of Section 102(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, he was entitled to a pension which is equivalent to the salary of a sitting Vice President.

“From the time I left office, I have not received a single dime in respect of my pension.

“The current Vice President receives a monthly salary of approximately US$14 000 or the equivalent at the previous interbank rate.

“This, therefore, means that to date, the arrears are in the sum of US$308 000 or the equivalent at the prevailing interbank rate. Neither have I received any of my benefits,” he said.

Mr Mphoko said despite approaching Dr Sibanda to assist him secure his benefits, there has been no joy prompting him to approach the courts.

Mr Mphoko said in the event that salaries are adjusted before the order sought is granted, the respondents should pay him at the prevailing interbank rate.