LASF MD Meets Kitwe Pensioners
- May 7, 2019
- Posted by: kalaluka
- Category: Uncategorized
By Chishimba Milongo
Zambia Local Authorities Retirees and Pensioners Association (ZALARPA) Copperbelt Chairman
Waddington Mambwe expressed pleasant surprise on March 21, 2019 when a three man delegation
from the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF), led by the new Managing Director, walked
into Buchi Hall to address gathering.
LASF Managing Director George Chileshe was responding to correspondence written by the retirees’
association in which they had listed a number of grievances and other issues on which they needed
guidance and clarity. With him were Sam Saili, the Contributions and Benefits Manager and
Chishimba Milongo, the Public Relations Manager.
“Sir, I am very surprised, even shocked, that you have found time to come all the way from Lusaka to
have a meeting with us. Unless my memory is failing me, since I am an old man now, this is the very
first time that Kitwe-based retirees are having a face-to-face meeting with a LASF Managing Director.
Well done and keep up with the same spirit,” a clearly impressed Mr. Mambwe said, much to the
applause of other members.
Addressing the pensioners, Mr. Chileshe assured them that their scheme was secure, contrary to
what they might have heard in the grapevine, as the Government was committed to implementing
far reaching pension reforms affecting the whole social security sector.
Mr. Chileshe also indicated to the meeting that Government would soon recapitalise the Fund, as it
had done in 2017, as a short term measure aimed at mitigating the plight of retirees countrywide.
“As you may recall, in 2017 Government released K150 million to LASF for settling of pension arrears
and we made sure that we paid as many of our clients as we could reach countrywide. It was the
first time that LASF was receiving such kind of money from the Treasury in living memory.”
“The same Government that gave us K150 million has committed itself to releasing the balance that
remained from the K401 million that it approved to give to LASF in 2016. All we are asking for from
you, our pensioners is patience as the Government sources these funds. Once we receive the
money, we shall inform you and send it straight to your accounts,” Mr. Chileshe said.
The Managing Director also informed the meeting that LASF was considering opening an office on
the Copperbelt, with Kitwe being considered as a suitable town because of its apparent centrality
and connectivity with other towns in the province. The announcement attracted massive approval
among the 100 plus pensioners.
One of key issues that the retirees wanted addressed was the inadequacy of the K750.00 annuity
which they got per year. The LASF chief executive officer acknowledged that under the prevailing
economic conditions the annuity was inadequate and that the Board was working with the Ministry
of Local Government to evaluate when to effect an increase and were hopeful that the increment
would come sooner rather than later.
“The process of effecting an increment on the annuity is a preserve of the Board which makes an
assessment based on the economic outlook and LASF’s ability to pay the increased amount. The
Board then makes a recommendation to the Minister of Local Government. If the Minister is
convinced that the increment is deserved, he issues instructions for the same to be implemented.
That is when as LASF we can start paying the new annuity as approved,” Mr. Chileshe informed the
And addressing the same meeting, Contributions and Benefits Manager Sam Saili said that LASF
operated an open-door policy in which pensioners and other beneficiaries were free to walk in or
phone in any time to seek clarification on any issue or air their grievances.
Mr. Saili further urged the retirees to adhere to the new format of payment through banks which the
Fund had put in place.
“We no longer pay via cheques for individuals. It is a new Government policy through the Bank of
Zambia that all of you must have bank accounts through which you should receive your payments.
There are a number of basic requirements which you have to fulfil failure to which we cannot pay,”
Mr. Saili said.
He emphasised the need for the pensioners to fill in and send the LASF Form III which is the bank
declaration form which is supposed to be endorsed by their banks. He also urged them not to forget
to fill in the Life Certificate, every year for those over 75 years of age and every two years for those
The Contributions and Benefits Manager encouraged the pensioners to open accounts with banks
such as Zanaco, Atlas Mara, Cavmont and Natsave among others which had products specifically
targeted at them with no charges. He said the same banks had memoranda of understanding with
LASF and if anything went wrong, the Fund would be able to intervene on behalf of the pensioners.