Petitioners call for reversal of retirement age of 65 years

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The revised retirement age has come under scrutiny by some petitioners that submitted to the on-going Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission sitting in Sesheke today.

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The petitioners told the Commission Chairperson Justice Fredrick Chomba that the statutory instrument which revised retirement age from 55 to 65 years must be revoked.

 

The commission is sitting at the council chambers in Sesheke district.

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Mweetwa Mwanamuke, 36, of Kashongami compound in Sesheke submitted that the new retirement age will disadvantage youths as there will be employment opportunities for them.

Mr. Mwanamuke said youths were in need of jobs and that the mandatory retirement age of 65 years will block them from getting into formal employment.

Another petitioner, 52 year-old Victor Simenda, a former employee of the defunct Zambezi Sawmills submitted that the new retirement age of 65 years is not welcome.

Mr. Simenda submitted that the retirement age should be reversed to 55 years to enable retirees enjoy their money.

But Commission Chairperson Justice Fredrick Chomba explained that the new law on the retirement age provides that an employee can retire between 60-65 years adding that it was not mandatory for one to retire at 65 years.

Meanwhile, 39 year-old Mwiya Mwiya of Airport compound said government should plan to pay retirement packages promptly to avoid situations where retirees have to wait for a long time to receive their benefits hence causing them unnecessary hardships.

Earlier, Justice Chomba noted that police should not be asking complainants to undertake tasks which the service should perform such as delivering call outs to suspects and asking people to pay for fuel and other logistics.

The response by Justice Chomba was prompted by a petitioner who submitted that the services of the police in Sesheke district did not meet the expectations of the people.

Mr. Mushe Muluti submitted that police in the district were depending on complainants to do their work.

Justice Chomba noted similar complaints against the police have been received by the Commission during its sittings in other districts where it has been.

 

He added that by doing so, the service was exposing complainants to possible repeated danger.

The Commission is in Sesheke to receive submissions from the public on how best the Legal and Justice Sector can be reformed.

And 36 year-old Brian Kashimoto of Savelo compound in Sesheke submitted that a law must be put in place to give a clear definition of the age of a child to avoid ambiguity.

"The Zambian law has so many definitions for who qualifies to be a child where for instance defilement, juvenile, fostering and voting all have different definitions of who qualifies," Mr. Kashimoto submitted.

Mr. Kashimoto recommended that the law must recognise a child to be one below the age of 18 years as opposed to the current situation where different situations dealing with children fall on different definitions of the law on a child.

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