BILL WATCH 52-2015

BILL WATCH 52/2015

[29th October 2015]

Commission of Inquiry into the Conversion of Insurance and Pension Values
Public Hearings Start in Harare Friday 30th October

The Commission of Inquiry into the Conversion of Insurance and Pension Values from Zimbabwean Dollars to the United States Dollar [hereinafter the “Commission”] will hold the first of ten planned public hearings in Harare tomorrow, Friday 30th October.  Details are as follows:

Venue            City Sports Centre, Rekai Tangwena Ave [adjacent to Harare Showgrounds]

Date                Friday 30th October

Time               9 am to 4.30 pm

Please note that members of the public are not expected to sit in from 9 am to 4.30 pm, but to get their views heard and leave the hearing venue to allow others to come in.

Public hearings in other provinces

The Commission’s nine other public hearings in the other provinces will be held over the period Monday 9th November to Thursday 3rd December.  Details of the programme for those hearings are given later in this bulletin.

About the Commission

The nine-member Commission was appointed by President Mugabe in July.  Its chairperson is retired High Court judge Justice George Smith.  The names of the eight other commissioners and the full terms of reference fixed by the President are set out in Statutory Instrument 80/2015 [soft copy available from Veritas at the addresses given at the end of this bulletin].  President Mugabe swore in the commissioners on 20th August.

Where is the Commission?  The Commission is housed in the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development, 4th Floor, B. Block, Offices B511-512, New Government Complex, Samora Machel Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets, Harare.  However, it should be noted that the Commission works independently of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development.

Contact phone numbers  The Commission’s  contact phone numbers are 04-706 183 or 794572-8, extensions 1077 and 1025.

Secretary to the Commission  Mr Cuthbert Tafirei Munjoma.

Purpose of the Public Hearings

The Commission is holding these public hearings with a view to getting an appreciation of the concerns/ challenges facing pensioners/policy holders with regard to the conversion process from the Zimbabwean dollar to the United States dollar. 

The public is categorically advised that the Commission does not have preconceived ideas on whether or not there was prejudice of pensioner/ policyholder value through the conversion process.

The public hearings are meant to invite evidence which will be used to make appropriate determinations on the fairness of the conversion process.  The Commission will use all the evidence gathered from current and former insurance and pension subscribers to examine the appropriateness of United States dollar benefit/value entitlements.

At a media briefing on 26th October Commission chairperson Justice Smith said:

“I would like to underscore that pensioners/ policyholders should not come for the public hearings expecting immediate compensation of what they believe was lost through the conversion process.

The essence of conducting public hearings is to understand the problem at hand in order to inform our investigation. As of now, the Commission is still neutral, i.e., does not have a position.

It is the investigation that will establish loss of values, if any, associated with the conversion process.”

Who is Expected to Attend?

The Commission is targeting to hear concerns/ challenges with regard to the conversion of insurance & pension values from the following stakeholders:-

Individual policyholders & pensioners;

Beneficiary of former policyholders;

Pensioner/ policyholder representative organisations;

Workers Committees/ trade unions, among others.

Expected Information from Stakeholders During Public Hearings

Workers Committees and Trade Unions are expected to make brief presentations on problems facing/being faced by their members or former members with respect to the conversion of insurance & pension values.  They are invited to submit information on number of pensioners/ workers involved.

Individual policyholders and pensioners are expected to submit copies (NOT ORIGINALS) of:

Their policy and other documents showing the Zimbabwean dollar as well as United States dollar denominated entitlements from their pension fund and/or their insurance policy;

Any communication, including annual or monthly benefit statements, over the years issued by pension fund administrators or insurance companies;

Payslips showing pension fund contribution deductions over the years in both Zimbabwe dollars and United States dollars;

Correspondence(s) from, and to, administrators and sponsoring employers;

Insurance policy premium payment advices and statements from insurance companies; and

Proof of appeals made to the institution concerned, if any; and or the regulator, as well as response(s) received.

However, should any have lost their documents, they can still come forward and give oral evidence.

Submission of Written Representations to Commission

The Commission has advised that members of the public are also free to submit their written representations to the Commission’s office [see Where is the Commission? above]If possible, soft copies of such representations, with scanned copies of supporting documents, should also be provided, to facilitate the process of supplying all commissioners with the documents.  

The Full Public Hearings Programme

PROVINCE

PUBLIC HEARING VENUE

DATE & TIME

  1. HARARE

CITY SPORTS CENTRE

30 October 2015,

0900-1630 HRS

  1. MATABELELAND NORTH

KINGDOM HOTEL, VICTORIA FALLS

9  November 2015,

0900-1630 HRS

  1. BULAWAYO

SMALL CITY HALL, BULAWAYO

11 November 2015

0900-1630 HRS

  1. MATABELELAND SOUTH

GWANDA HOTEL

13 November 2015

0900-1630 HRS

  1. MIDLANDS

GWERU CITY THEATRE, GWERU

15 November 2015

0900-1630 HRS

  1. MASVINGO

CIVIC CENTRE HALL, MASVINGO

23 November 2015

0900-1630 HRS

  1. MANICALAND

MOFFAT HALL

MUTARE

25 November 2015

0900-1630 HRS

  1. MASHONALAND EAST

MALWATTE VILLAGE, MARONDERA

27 November 2015

0900-1630 HRS

  1. MASHONALAND WEST

CHINHOYI UNIVERSITY HOTEL  HALL, CHINHOYI

1 December 2015

0900-1630 HRS

  1. MASHONALAND CENTRAL

HALA SELECT KIMBERLEY HOTEL, BINDURA

3 December 2015

0900-1630 HRS

 

 

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