ZCTU resists proposed health levy

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THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has vowed to resist any new compulsory levies on employees to finance the proposed National Health Insurance Scheme until issues to do with who will run and administer the fund are thoroughly debated and agreed on by workers.

Paidamoyo Muzulu

ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said the union was against the introduction of another compulsory government-administered levy, following the chaos associated with people’s pensions being administered by the National Social Security Authority (Nssa).

“It’s something we rejected a long time ago and we will reject it again,” Moyo said. “Under Nssa, workers’ money has been abused with some now being locked up in non-performing banks. Workers are now sceptical of paying to government-administered schemes.”

Deputy Health minister Paul Chimedza last week said government was holding discussions to introduce a new compulsory fund to finance health care in a holistic manner.

Chimedza told parliament: “The two ministries (health and labour), at some point, had proposed that there be a National Health Insurance Fund and that this fund comes as a levy, not just focusing on cancer, but focusing on the whole health care sector and for anyone who gets sick, whether in the rural areas or towns, he/she just needs to walk to the hospital and get service, but that service will be paid for from that fund and then that health institution will be able to pay its workers — the nurses and doctors.”

Moyo said health is an important sector that should be funded, but insists that unions should be consulted on the fund’s administration.
“If we are to have schemes we have to agree on who runs and administers them, otherwise we will say no; we don’t want with our money,” Moyo added.

Zimbabwean workers are among the highest taxed employees in the world with a plethora of direct and indirect taxes in a shrinking economy where a small minority employed in the formal sector has to help finance government operations.

Zimbabwe’s unemployment level currently stands at over 80%.

2 thoughts on “ZCTU resists proposed health levy”

  1. Gutter Poet says:

    I never thought I would one day agree with the ZCTU given the way they have looked the other way while SDA in schools and pension companies have been robbing people with abandon! Why should the poor worker who is wafer thin as we speak have more of his money deducted when there is NSSA which he contributes to bursting at the seems with ill gotten gains which they are using prodigiously paying themselves and those ‘scratch my back I will scratch yours’ dodgy investments in failing banks and other unsavoury enterprises all over the land?

  2. Irikidzayi says:

    I think the strategy should be to rebuild the tax-base that was destroyed by collapse of industry. Now government is looking for taxes from very few people and companies that earn a taxable income. Government should not keep taking from people, we need strategies to revive industry. Government must make priority to fight this new AIDS that hit our economy in the form of Agricultural Imports Dependency Syndrome. Reports that Zimbabwe is importing beef from Namibia, chickens from Brazil and maize from Zambia are not good news at all. Now who in Africa will emulate our land redistribution program when we are seen frequenting our neighbour’s silos buying or asking for food? We used to be called the bread basket for the SADC region and we can be there again if we put our hearts and money to it. The economy needs some ARVs in the form of Africans Restoring Viability – it will take ourselves to free ourselves, everyone else is in our country to further their own interests. That the big man now has publicized investments in the form of Gushungo Holdings is a good thing, A couple years ago the rumour mill was full of stories of his monies stashed away in foreign accounts, so having a local Gushungo Holdings employing Zimbabweans is comfort indeed.

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