The National Social Security Authority's (NSSA) attempt to pillage informal traders' hard-earned money by hoodwinking them into joining its dubious schemes, should be resisted by all means.
NSSA should, by now, know that the Zimbabwean population has since learnt, the hard way, that its existence - which is touted as a genuine social security scheme that will benefit members later on in life - is nothing short of a malicious get-rich-quick scheme for the authority, which only leaves its hard-working members milked dry and suffering.
This is an open secret.
Even amongst those in the informal sector, who are now being targeted by NSSA, are some who are already victims of its parasitic schemes, and rue the day they were forced to join years back when they were still employed in the private sector - with empty promises of milk and honey - yet today, they are living in abject poverty.
When private sector employees were forced to join NSSA, they were assured of a comfortable retirement, as well as other benefits, such as payments in the event of workplace accidents and disabilities.
These luckless workers were forced to fork out their hard-earned money hoping to reap handsome rewards later on.
Needless to say, all they eventually witnessed were building after building, either being constructed or bought by NSSA using their money, whilst being told that it was being invested so that they would eventually receive comfortable benefits.
These 'comfortable' benefits have since turned out to be nothing more than monthly payments as pathetic as US$28 - not enough to even buy monthly electricity.
Would it not have been better had these employees kept their money those years back, and used it to feed their families - as they would have bought more with it then, than they can buy today with those paltry NSSA payouts?
So what happened to those so-called 'investments' - which should be in the millions upon millions of dollars?
Who is actually benefiting from that money - certainly, not the members who were contributing every month for years?
The same people who are benefiting from those contributions and investments now want to benefit even more by switching their cross-hairs towards the informal traders - most of whom are the same people they bamboozled years ago.
NSSA realises that the private sector has all but died, and there is virtually noone left to milk, and as such, now are targetting the informal sector where the majority of Zimbabweans are now making a living.
Most certainly, NSSA's insistence that they are unveiling these schemes for the people's own benefit, is nothing short of buffling, if not outright dubious.
As the Shona wisely say, 'Inyasha dzei rume kubvisa mwana wemvana madziwa'.
How noble are the intentions of a man who volunteers to remove a single mother's child's mucus?
These actions are not different from pastors who are so insistent that someone attends their church, so that they do not go to hell - yet that pastor can not even assist that same person with a loaf of bread when they are hungry.
So would their concern truly be about that person's salvation, or it more about tithes, thus more money for the pastor?
NSSA's schemes have been repeated on too many people, such that they do not work anymore.
The hard-working workers of Zimbabwe have learnt their lesson - as once bitten, twice shy - and will never again allow their hard-earned money to be plundered so as to enrich a few people, whilst the workers are left holding the short end of the stick.
° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is Programmes Director at the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice). Call/WhatsApp: +263782283975, or email: email@example.com
. Please 'Like' our ZimJustice page on Facebook for more.
- Tendai Ruben Mbofana