Zanzibar President Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein has signed the Elderly Affairs bill that was passed by the House of Representative in March this year into law.
Among the things the Act will serve the older people in Zanzibar includes provision of Universal pension being a right for older people as per the scheme’s provision guidance.
“This is huge news to us older people here in the isles. This means that among many other things, we are entitled to pension. It is now our right. We are very grateful for many things that our president has done for the older people here in Zanzibar.” Said Ghanima Othman an older person and member to Jumuiya ya Wazee na Wastaafu Zanzibar (JUWAZA).
“We appreciate the way the Zanzibar government works to serve its elderly population. In four years since the first older person received pension in 2016, today we are learning that they have a law. This is good news to older people, and we know that with the income they get from the pension, older people’s wellbeing is well attributed.” Said Smart Daniel Country Director at HelpAge international.
December 2019, Zanzibar held its dissemination workshop on the study conducted on the impact of Universal Pension which revealed great impact on the lives of older people in the isles. The study report confirmed that even modest pensions can lead to important improvements in older people’s lives. “With this law, it means that older people of 70+ will be able to claim the right to pension if one ever denied and that the positive changes for older people in Zanzibar resulted by pension provision will continue. We congratulate them on this bold step.” Said Smart.
Other things that the Act addresses includes; the need to treat the elder person fairly and equitably, protect the elder person from any form of discrimination and violence, participate in the affairs of society and community life in any position appropriate to his interests and capabilities. In a family where such elder person lives shall have among other responsibilities be to provide love, affection, food, shelter, and accommodation to the older person.
HelpAge International is an international NGO whose mission is to promote the wellbeing, rights, and inclusion of older people so we can all enjoy a future free from poverty, inequality and discrimination.
For further information, contact Theresia Christian, Communications Officer, mobile +255 743 057 318 / +255 622 042 688.