The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Parliament Adopts Older Persons Bill

The House of Assembly last week adopted the Older Persons Bill that's seeks to cater for the welfare of the aged in society.

In her speech before its adoption Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paurina Mpariwa said the Bill was a fulfilment of Zimbabwe's commitment to various international protocols and statutes it had signed to protect the well-being of the elderly.

"We are determined to enhance the recognition of the dignity of older persons and eliminate all forms of neglect, abuse and violence," said Minister Mpariwa.

"In this regard the Older Persons Bill forms part of our social protection strategy to provide for the needs of the elderly.

"This is made more important because currently, after working for most of their lives and contributing to the country's economic development there is no specific social security mechanism or pension covering the generality of older persons. Also older persons remain the only category of vulnerable persons whose well-being is not provided for by an Act of Parliament," she said.

The Minister said other groups like children and the disabled were covered by various laws like the Children's Act and the Disabled Act.

The Bill was crafted after wide consultations and will see the establishment of an Older Persons Board, a director of Older Persons Affairs and the creation of an Older Persons' Fund, among others.

"The key objective is to enact legislation that facilitates for accessible, equitable and affordable services to older persons and empower them to continue to live meaningfully and constructively in a society that recognises them as an important source of employment and expertise," she said.

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