Russia-Ukraine War Delays Elderlies Pension Scheme - Govt
Ministry of gender, social welfare and community development says Covid-19 pandemic and have affected the commencement of the Tonse Alliance's elderly pension scheme campaign promise.
The ministry's spokesperson Fred Simwaka, told Zodiak Online on Saturday that Covid 19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine tension have affected the economy, forcing the government to prioritize other needs in the budget.
Simwaka, however says, government has not entirely abandoned the commitment, but increased 15 percent of the elderly benefiting from the Social Cash Transfer Programme.
"We can say that currently, government has no plan to roll out the scheme, maybe due to economic challenges as you can testify, the way we are with the Covid-19 and war in Ukraine have affected our economies.
"But what we are doing is not really to abandon the scheme, but we have taken another line of trying to include the elderly. So instead of having a special scheme for the elderly, we have included them in social protection interventions like Social Cash Transfer Programme," he said.
However, Malawi for Network of Older Persons Organizations (MANEPO) Executive Director, Andrew Kavala, says the excuses on the war and Covid-19 are doing a huge disservice to the elderly persons in the country, calling on government to prioritize them.
"The excuses on Covid 19 and Ukraine war are doing disservice to older men and women in the country because the Tonse Alliance government had made a number of commitments during their manifesto and some of them are being fulfilled. So the question is always why the old age scheme is failing to take off on the ground?" Kavala asked.
In the run up to the 2020 court sanctioned presidential elections, the Tonse Alliance promised to roll out the pension scheme for the elderly to be receiving money monthly.