Zimbabwe paid some British pensioners currently residing in South Africa in March but has since stopped the payments because of technical and procedural difficulties with some of the banks.
This was disclosed yesterday by Britain’s Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Bellingham in response to a question by Conservative Member of Parliament Stephen Barclay.
Barclay had asked what steps the British government was making to ensure that Zimbabwe honoured its obligations to British citizens who were entitled to Zimbabwean pensions.
Bellingham said the British government had been making representations to the Zimbabwean government for years to fulfil their legal responsibilities to former public servants who were entitled to government pensions.
He said the British consul in Harare last met with the director of pensions of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on this issue in April 2012.
The director confirmed that trial payments were made to some pensioners in South Africa in March 2012.
South Africa was chosen because of the proximity of the countries, similarities in the banking systems and the fact that most of the pensioners reside there.
However, the Department of Pensions encountered technical and procedural difficulties with some of the banks and had to stop all payments to review the process.