Smith commission of inquiry rolls out nationwide public hearing
A COMMISSION of Inquiry set by President Robert Mugabe last month to look into the conversion of insurance and pension values from the Zimbabwe dollars to United States dollars in 2009 on Monday said it will be rolling out countrywide consultations to hear the view of stakeholders.
“The commission will be conducting public hearings in all the country’s 10 provinces with a view to getting an appreciation of concerns/challenges facing pensioners/policy holders with regard to the conversion process from the Zimbabwean dollar to the United States dollars,” commission chairman, George Smith told reporters in Harare.
“The public hearings are meant to invite evidence which will be used to make appropriate determinations on the fairness of the conversion process. The commission will use all the evidence gathered from the current and former insurance and pension subscribers to examine the appropriateness of United States dollar benefits/value entitlement,” said Smith.
He said public hearings will commence in Harare on October 30 and end on December 3, 2015 in Mashonaland central.
There has been concerns by the public that when the country switched over from the Zimbabwe dollar after hyperinflation to multi-currencies in 2009, insurance policyholders and pensions were not properly converted, thereby prejudicing the public.
Similar issues had also been raised on Zimbabwe dollar bank account balances, but the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been looking into the issue.
The public concerns were what President Mugabe mandated the commission to look into, and come up with recommendations.
The commission said it will study developments in the insurance and pensions sector from 1996 to present day in order to come up with its recommendations.
Smith said both individuals and institutions will be given the opportunity to submit their points.
It is expected to submit its recommendation to the President after nine months.
The nine member commission is also made up of Violet Mutandwa, George Dikinyi, Godfrey Kanyenze, Anesu Daka, Tapiwa Maswera, Brain Muchemwa, Martin Tarusenga and Itai Chirume, who have various professional backgrounds.