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Insurance companies, banks in Zimbabwe must pay up

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Imagine making monthly pension contributions for six years and when you try to claim your pension from your insurance company you get a $20 bill on the spot as a once off payment. I was reading with great concern an article published in The Herald of 9 November 2012 on the feud between pensioners and insurance companies. Pensioners in Zimbabwe continue to suffer in silence as insurance companies reap big. The economic meltdown orchestrated by the hyperinflation environment of the 2008 era gave insurance companies some reasons to get away with it. To say that contributions were wiped out by inflation without considering value of the policies pre-inflation era somehow is tantamount to day light robbery. Some of these insurance companies invested in immovable assets, which appreciate in value and for the record, these insurance companies’ own most commercial buildings in city centers and they charge exorbitant rentals.

The paltry payments are not even enough to foot the transport bill for an ordinary person traveling from Gwanda to Harare, where most of these insurance companies are located, to make a claim. With no source of income, and having reached retirement age, most pensioners are left with no option but to accept the peanuts on offer from the insurance companies. This daylight robbery also left depositors penniless when banks failed to account for depositors’ money after Zimbabwe began using the American dollar; up to now it’s still a blame game between commercial banks and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

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