Zimbabwe is still committed to paying Rhodesian pensioners but it currently does not have the money.
The country is struggling to pay its civil servants and has on a number of occasions been forced to postpone the pay dates.
A British Lord told the upper house in Britain this week that the British government had recently approached the Zimbabwean government reminding it of its legal commitment to former employees of the Southern Rhodesian government.
The government of Zimbabwe has responded on 27 May saying the pensions were affected by the current financial constraints.
At the last count there were about 1 200 ex-Rhodesian pensioners who were owed about $63 million.
Rhodesia, which was renamed Zimbabwe-Rhodesia under the short-lived Abel Muzorewa administration, reverted to its old name of Southern Rhodesia after the Lancaster House agreement which ushered the country’s independence in April 1980.
The pensioners were last paid in 2003.
Britain has told the pensioners that it cannot fund any ex-gratia payments because it has no legal responsibility or obligation to pay the pensions which are solely the responsibility of the Zimbabwean government.
Lord Goodlad Conservative- To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made in any discussions they are having with the government of Zimbabwe on the subject of pensions owed to former Rhodesian or Zimbabwean public servants.
The Earl of Courtown Conservative- The British Government continues to remind the relevant authorities in Zimbabwe of their legal commitment to former employees of the Southern Rhodesia government. Following our most recent approach, the Government of Zimbabwe last wrote to us on 27 May. They explained that pension repayments remain affected by current financial constraints in Zimbabwe and the state of the wider economy. Nonetheless, at our prompting they committed to continuing to seek a solution.