|Tanzania: New Local Pension Law Unfair|
by Ngwegwe Mussa, East Africa Business Week
August 13th, 2012
The newly introduced pension law in Tanzania that requires any employee to reach a maturely age of 55 years in order to retrieve his benefits has continued to get criticisms from majority of Tanzanians especially those in the private sectors.
Recently different employees working with the mines of African Barrick Gold in Buryankulu (western Tanzania) aired their concerns on the newly signed law saying it was unfair and, they are willing to stage protests against it.
The miners argue that at such an age, it was impossible for any employee to make stable and profitable investment because the only body will have already been inactive and that has denied them the right to develop themselves.
"For us in the mine, it is impossible for a miner to work in the mining company for a period of more than 10 years due to health risks and we cannot therefore wait till we reach that age in order to get our money," said one of the miners.
Speaking to Kisarawe Member of Parliament Mr. Suleiman Jafo earlier last week, Jafo was given the mandate by the parliament to collect employees' views regarding the recently passed law, the miners said that it was inhuman for the government to pass such a law that concerns the majority of poor Tanzanians without even their consultation.
"The government should have consulted employees first and ask them what they want because, we have our own trade union, the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) through which we direct all our grievances, we expected the government to use this same to reach us and not the parliament" miners lamented.
They said that if the law will not be put back on the table for discussion, they are willing to convince other employees in the mining industry in the country to lay down their tools and that will be a blow to the government as well.
The Secretary for TUCTA Mr. Nicholaus Mgaya threatened for intervention on the newly passed law saying he will make sure that legal actions against Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA) were instituted noting also that drafting such a law was oppressive to employees in the country.
"Life expectancy in Tanzania has decreased from 70 years three decades back to 47 years in recent years, it is impossible for SSRA to come up with a stand on 55 years". Mgaya said.