Retirees plan ZRA protest

RETIREES are up in arms with the Zambian Revenue Authority (ZRA) for illegal deductions on their dues amounting to over K15 million since they went on voluntary retirement 19 years ago.
And the retirees have threatened to drag the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) to court for failure to pay over 9000 former Government workers who were non-civil servants despite constant reminders.
The Voluntary Separatees Association of Zambia (VSAZ) has now written to ZRA Commissioner General Berlin Msiska seeking an audience with the authority in the next eight days, failure to which the retirees have threatened take to the streets to press the authority to release their monies which it had been illegally deducting since 1997.
In a letter dated 17th August, 2015 signed by VSAZ General Secretary Simemeza Syachoke which was copied to President Edgar Lungu, Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska, and Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani, VSAZ is demanding a meeting with ZRA to compel the institution to immediately release money illegally deducted from 1,471 retirees.
VSAZ contend that despite writing to the authority over the same issue, nothing had materialised despite ZRA assuring VSAZ that it was verifying the figures.
Meanwhile, VSAZ has threatened to sue NAPSA for failure to pay dues to 9,754 retirees.
In a letter addressed to NAPSA Director General Charles Mpundu by VSAZ lawyers Malipenga and Company obtained by the Daily Nation, retirees want NAPSA to immediately pay the monies or face legal action.
“Our client’s instructions are that they have not been paid their dues by your organisation. Therefore, it is our demand to your good self to confirm their demand and pay them through us. We have further instruction to commence legal action against your organisation upon the expiration of 14 days from the date hereof,” read the letter in part.
And when contacted for a comment over the two letters, Mr. Syachoke told the Daily Nation that the retirees were fed up with the delaying tactics from the two institutions but vowed that retirees were resolved to getting their dues even if it meant losing more funds through legal battles.
He noted that it was illogical for people to wait for such a long time since they went on retirement to get what rightfully belonged to them.
“In the case of ZRA, they were illegally deducting money from us but they have been telling us that they are verifying the figures in order to sort out our issue. Surely, does it take years to verify records that you already have? We are now running out of patience and our people want their money immediately,” Mr. Syachoke said.
He said if ZRA would not take the meeting on 28th August seriously, retirees will protest at the institution and seek the intervention of the President Lungu because it was not VSAZ’s fault that some people were using underhand methods to deduct monies unnecessarily.

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