President Samia’s golden handshake

IN what can be described as a sigh of relief to 14,516 public servants, who were axed from the government’s payroll for forging certificates, President Samia Suluhu Hassan has directed that they be given a golden handshake for their services by paying them their social security contributions.

Both the Public Service Social Security Fund (PSSSF) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) will spend 46.8bn/- to pay the former workers, who had dedicated their esteemed service to the public, only to be fired after it was realised that they had presented false documents.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Labour, Employment, Youths and the Disabled), Professor Joyce Ndalichako announced the President’s decision in Dodoma yesterday, when addressing a media conference.

Prof Ndalichako, who was flanked by the Minister of State in the President’s Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance, Ms Jenister Mhagama, said the exercise to pay the former workers kicks off on November 1, 2022, and until it ends, the government would have spent 46.8bn/-.

According to her, the payment was in regard to statutory monthly deductions from social security funds, where NSSF is 10 per cent, while PSSSF is 5 per cent, meaning, those who were contributing to NSSF will bag a huge amount of money as compared to those who were contributing to latter.

For one to be paid one’s contributions to the pension funds, the minister said, one would be required to have two passport size photos, a bank statement and a copy of the National Identity Card, Voter Card or a Driving Licence.

Also, Prof Ndalichako added, they will be required to fill in the willing certificates that employers will submit to the pension funds to facilitate payments, which would be channeled to members’ accounts numbers.

The reprieve comes following President Samia’s directive during the 2022 May Day Celebrations that the parent ministries look on the possible measures to at least compensate public servants, who were axed from the payroll for submitting forged certificates.

The president’s directive came after a request from the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) that they be paid the money they contributed in the pension funds.

“Following the analysis, we have conducted as per the President’s directive, after the submission to her, she has agreed that all employees dismissed from work for forging certificates should be refunded only their contributions deducted from their salaries and submitted to the social security funds and following those instructions, the social security funds PSSF and NSSSF will disburse the contributions of employees submitted to the funds beginning November 1st this year,’’ Prof Ndalichako insisted.

For the beneficiaries who are now dead, Prof Ndalichako said that the next of kin who were submitted to employers would present the documents for payment on behalf of their loved ones.

Speaking at a similar occasion, the Minister of State in the President’s Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance Ms Mhagama directed all employers to introduce help desks in order to get rid of unnecessary bureaucracies to former employees, who will be going to their offices to get documents for their payments.

Ms Mhagama further instructed all the employers in both Central and Local Government Authorities (LGAs), Public Entities and Agencies to ensure that they adhere to the ethics of the Public Service and to ensure that there was no loopholes for corruption, saying that the exercise was the right of those employees who were dismissed from the public service.

‘I direct the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to keep an eye on the exercise and ensure that justice is done to every person who has the right to get that money,’’ she directed, underscoring the need for all employers to observe professionalism.

The minister said that the action taken by the president was of great compassion and love for the former employees.

She asked all the employers in the country to cooperate with the employees during the implementation of the exercise and refrain from corrupt practices that may delay and lead to destroying and disrupt the good intentions of the president.

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