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Pension Information

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Dear all

Further to my email of 21 September it has taken longer than I had expected to advise you of the outcome of our meeting with the British ambassador to Harare on 24 September.  I have also been liaising with Turville Kille in Harare.

 I attach the text of the item published in our journal which will be despatched to all OSPA members in the next few days.  It is also on our website.

Kind regards.

David Le Breton
Secretary, Overseas Service Pensioners' Association

Zimbabwe Public Service Pensions
In early September it was alleged that the Zimbabwe Pensions Office had
been implicated in a fraud, whereby some people had used false documents
to draw for themselves pension payments intended for the dependants of
deceased pensioners.  The Government therefore decided that all
Government pensioners in Zimbabwe should report to district offices to
present relevant identity documents and bank details and sign fresh
Certificates of Life.
No clear advice is yet available about what action pensioners living outside
Zimbabwe should take.  There are broadly three groups:
i)    Pensioners who left Zimbabwe unofficially, retaining their Zimbabwe bank
or building society accounts into which their pensions have continued to be
paid. George Smith and Turville Kille are in discussion with the Director of
Pensions about how to make arrangements for these pensioners. 
ii)  Some pensioners living in South Africa who have accounts with the
Standard Bank there.  They have been receiving some pension payments
since 2012, backdated to 2009.
iii)   Other pensioners whose pensions have not been paid since 2003.  
OSPA representatives were able to discuss the situation with the British
ambassador from Harare on her visit to London in late September.  She
confirmed that the state of the Zimbabwe economy was still “dire”, and that
the Government was unable even to pay all its regular wage bills.  The
Government now acknowledged its responsibility to pay all the pensions due
both internally and outside Zimbabwe.  But there are insufficient funds to do
so until they can re-negotiate their existing debts with the international
monetary institutions (the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank).
The ambassador undertook to press the Government to accept the validity of
the Certificates of Life submitted by non-resident pensioners following the
instruction from the Pensions Office made known in October 2009.  
OSPA will do what it can to notify pensioners when the position becomes
clearer.  We will also continue to press the British Government to accept that
it has a moral responsibility to relieve the financial hardship suffered by the
pensioners over so many years, and accordingly to make ex-gratia payments
to them.

LONDON             Tuesday              03 SEP 2013


Hobo & c.c. Addressees,




They say TWO things are certain in this world…… DEATH and TAXES.


In the case of us Zim Diasporan Pensioners the former looms uncomfortably closer by the day for most of us, has already overtaken many of us, whilst our earnings in our twilight years usually mean that we are likely no longer contributors of moment regarding the latter.


The matter of our unpaid pensions has rumbled on for over TEN YEARS now, and even the resurrected pension payments that ZIM PENSIONS OFFICE has successfully re-launched  over the last FOUR YEARS in that it is now paying some US$30 million per month to over 180 000x Zim Pensioners, in full, on time, and in accordance with the regulationsas repeatedly reassured to us by Mr Eddie CROSS MP (MDC);….. that payroll is carefully crafted and criminally manipulated by ZANU cadres from within the Zimbabwe Government to ensure a number of specific (non) outcomes, viz:


01.   Zim Diasporan Pensioners in South Africa (read “white” pensioners) are not paid at all wherever possible. Witness the situation whereby the largely white Diasporan Pensioner grouping now resettled there….. whereby ONLY those pensioners who possess a bank account with the Standard Bank of SA might be included in the Zim Pension Payroll – and then only after much time consuming bureaucracy & obstruction over periods of YEARS. Moreover, it should be noted that The Standard Bank of South Africa is now 30% owned by the Chinese [thus enabling Harare to keep discreet tabs on those same SA pensioners at arms length]. There is absolutely NO legal requirement to have a Standard Bank Account in order to receive a pension either in Zimbabwe, nor anywhere else in the world…. But by applying this illegal constraint has the effect of about three quarters of the Zim Pensioners in SA continuing to be unpaid for TEN YEARS now (about 650 odd of the 933x Zim Pensioners in the records of FLF).

02.   ZIM Diasporan Pensioners elsewhere Abroad (again read “white” pensioners) are simply not paid at all, ever. Of the 360x Zim Pensioners in the records of OSPA not one has been paid anything for the last ten years….. many dying in the interim, their estates & widows still unpaid.

03.   Zim Pensioners in ZIMBABWE (here read predominantly “black” and retired ZANU cadres) are nearly all being paid in the manner reassured by MDC MP Eddie Cross, viz: “in full, on time, & in accordance with the regulations”. Of course they will be, they are predominantly a ZANUpf constituency and, therefore, ZANUpf voters….. the few resident white pensioners being paid alongside them being insignificant on the one hand, and a useful (but dishonest) element of evidence of impartial administration of the Zimbabwe PENSIONS OFFICE on the other.

04.   My recent email to Hobo Hobson in this regard & copied to you all drew the following succinct & bluntly honest appraisal from one of our number viz:  “Unless the British government agrees to include diaspora Zimbabwe Public Service pensions in their ZIM-AID package, I see no solution to the problem so long as ZANUpf remains in power, and the UK retains sanctions against high-profile ZANUpf individuals and their companies.”


And there we find ourselves – between a rock and a hard place, seemingly nobody’s responsibility and, apparently nobody’s constituency…. Right ?




In my earlier email to Hobo I wrote inter alia that:

HM Govt both political & Whitehall variety seek false comfort from their obsolete tactic of smugly brushing this issue aside. I say for a number of reasons, and which include some of the following –

  1. The 300x odd of us represented by OSPA in the UK are indeed part of their constituency; and
  2. Our votes help to keep them in or out of power; and
  3. Our taxes help to fund the largesse they demonstrate annually & which serves to do little more than keep the Mugabe regime ticking over (and in areas where that regime should be funding itself, but chooses not to); and
  4. Our numbers (in both VOTES and TAX TAKE contribution) are indeed exponentially greater than when we first arrived or returned to the UK (simply because our children, and grandchildren, are now settled, employed and TAXpaying VOTERS too !).
  5. The DfID AID-BUDGET is no longer the sacred cow it has always seen itself as….. and if the two main political parties choose continued blindness in this area, then a political price will ultimately be paid for such choices (as UKIP have been quite vocally effective in pointing out more recently).”


I also wrote that I was currently working on the ratio of our (UK ZIM DIASPORA) collective “extended family” value in VOTER & TAX  TAKE terms and how this weighs against the DfID Budget generally and, more specifically, that part of the DfID UK-ZIM AID Budget. As I mentioned in an earlier email to the group, we are quite within our rights to point out the ridiculous anomaly concerning our UNPAID-DIASPORAN PENSIONS vs MUSHROOMING UK-ZIM AID. There comes a point where it is unacceptable for Zimbabwe to expect to continually find itself able to have its own cake, our pensioner cake, the AID cake, and eat the lot….. whilst expecting us all to keep quiet.


Starting with my own family, I am seeking data to create just such an “extended family” value in VOTER & TAX TAKE. In order for this to be statistically credible, I need to have comparable data from a reasonable sample of UK Resident Zim Diasporan families whose patriarch is or would be a Zimbabwe Pensioner (i.e. 64 year old or older). The following extract from a recent email to my own three children best demonstrates what I am after, thus –


Take our family as an example….. DAD, MOM, 2x MARRIED CHILDREN, 1x UNMARRIED CHILD


DAD = A Zim Diasporan Pensioner who only has 1x vote and currently pays about 60 Tax pa.

However, Dad’s close extended family in the UK include

MOM = 1x vote & who pays “W” tax pa

J & M = 2x votes & who pay “X” tax pa between them

M & A = 2x votes & who pay “Y” tax pa between them

SALLY = 1x vote & who pays “Z” tax pa


THEREFORE, this 1x ZIM Diasporan Pensioner (“DAD”) is in reality represented by 7x UK VOTES and a total UK TAX TAKE PA of 60+W+X+Y+Z = ? per annum.


What I should like is a for a cross-section of our number to give me (through you all) the end stats for as many UK Resident/Domiciled Zim Diasporans as possible, so that I can calculate a statistically reliable average, against which I can extrapolate our TOTAL extended family VOTER & TAX TAKE value for the 360 of us on the records of OSPA, UK. In the case of UK Diasporan Pensioners whose extended family are partly resident elsewhere in the diaspora, their data should still be included…. For the milking of Western Aid by the Zimbabwe Administration is not confined solely to the milking of the British Taxpayer.


I need to look to all addressees to help me gather as many sample extended family stats as possible. Please now assist me to do so accordingly via your own Associations, Newsgroups & Networks. Each of you can then anonymously encode the final data set per family and send it to me in a one-off return along the lines of the following format example:


PENSIONER                         TAX          FAMILY                  FAMILY

Pseudonym        VOTE       pa  .        VOTES                    TAX pa .


AVJ                           1             60             7                           45 000               

XYZ                           1             nil               6                           52 000

QTS                          1             2000        4                           15 000



TOTALS                  3x           2060         17x                        112 000


(therefore:          360x      24 720      2040x                  13 440 000  [or say US$20 Million TAX TAKE just from the UK Diasporan Pensioner families])


From the collected data, I aim to extrapolate a representation of our weighted “extended family VOTER & TAX TAKE Value” for the 360x OSPA Zim Pensioner demographic profile. I am happy to do likewise and/or include the FLF Zim Pensioner demographic Profile, but I am minded not to upset the tenuous Zim Pensions that some of the South African resident & domiciled group already enjoy.


Having said all this, I would still like to collect & collate the same “extended family VOTER & TAX TAKE Value” for all ZIM-DIASPORAN PENSIONERS….. i.e. not just those resident in the UK.  You see, at the end of the day, the total ZIM-ZANUpf fraud targeted on the global ZIM-DIASPORAN Pensioner Community of some 3000-4000x odd elderly, frail, deceased, widowed, etc pensioners (and their Deceased Estates), in itself warrants consideration as a racist crime against humanity and, moreover, is of itself prima facie evidence of a deliberate & monumental ZIM-State-Sponsored Fraud that now runs into around US$4-5 MILLION a year (totalling around US$45-50 MILLION over the last ten years). In many cases, this unlawful withholding (and de facto theft) of lawful Pensioner Emoluments is simply offset by Social Security Payments to affected Diasporan Pensioners from the budgets of the host nations where they now reside in that Diaspora. And all this whilst UK+WESTERN-ZIM-AID is being generously INCREASED year-on-year….UK-ZIM-AID via DfID nearly DOUBLED during the last financial year to around US$150 MILLION. All this too, whilst donor nations like the UK are actually DECREASING their internal Social Security and other budgets. This creates the now questionable situation whereby, in the case of the UK for example, the delinquent ZANUpf Government of Zimbabwe can continue to expect to find itself enabled to have its own cake, our pensioner cake, the AID cake, and eat the lot….. whilst expecting us all to keep quiet (and as I have already written above).


Obsolete POLICY in Whitehall, London, (and other western donor capitals) along with muddled thinking in both DfID and the FCO, have the effect that they too continue to (wrongly) support this fraudulent continuation of such a scandalous state of affairs (with an apparent pretence that it is quite acceptable, simply because it has always been so). The continued complicity by HM Govt (and other donor governments) in this now long outstanding matter would seem to be placing these western officials and our western politicians in positions of culpability alongside the responsible officials  and politicians in the Zimbabwe regime(s). It is time for them to be made bluntly aware of this….. INDEED, it is long overdue now !


Gentlemen, please assist me accordingly in this project. Please do so soon. Thank you all.




Aussie  Austin  J



From: EG Cross [mailto:egcross@africaonline.co.zw]
Sent: 19 March 2013 04:34
To: 'John Austin'
Cc: 'Redfern, John'; 'O.S.P.A.'; 'Coltart , David'


Look John. Quit while you are ahead. We will revert to you when we have some idea of what is impeding the payment of pensions in certain countries. The guys are working on this and I have asked them to expedite.



Zimbabwe Pensions update: March 2011

Posted Friday, 4 March 2011 by John Redfern

Zimbabwe Government Pensions

The Pensions Office has captured the data the FLF sent to them, and is now ready to commence pension payments. (These will probably be based on a pensioner’s grade on retirement, and not the full pension.) However, the Director of Pensions has informed the FLF that the government still needs to establish a modality for disbursing pensions to individual bank accounts in South Africa and elsewhere.
With the help of volunteers, we have processed over 800 applications since 2008. Those who submitted their documents to us for onward transmission will be the first to receive their money when payments are resumed.
The Director of Pensions is now looking into which bank or finance house is prepared to receive pension funds in bulk, and disburse pension payments monthly to individual bank accounts. The ideal would be for one bank or finance house with branches worldwide to undertake this, in the same way as Crown Agents in the UK does for pensioners of the former Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
An article published in the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper of 16 December 2010 stated, inter alia, “The ministry has since asked the country’s foreign embassies to assist in collecting information from pensioners as only 1 300 of the 5 600 had responded to their call”. We are delighted to know that the intention to resume pension payments to the “Diaspora” has been officially made known to the public, both in the article attached and in The Herald of 5 January 2011.
It seems that the request from the Public Service Minister has not yet reached the embassy in Pretoria. In any case, it is not clear in the article what is expected of the embassies. We have asked the Director of Pensions to clarify what the FLF’s role should be henceforth.
If the FLF is expected to process application forms for the Pensions Office, as we have done at considerable cost, both in money and in volunteers’ time, we will need remuneration. If this is not forthcoming from the Zimbabwe government, the FLF will have to ask applicants for a donation in future, unless they are FLF members.

UK Parliament on Zimbabwe pensions

Posted Thursday, 16 December 2010 by John Redfern

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot) (Conservative): I should like to bring to the House’s attention the plight of former public sector workers in Zimbabwe, when it was Southern Rhodesia. Their pensions have not been paid for some considerable time — almost eight years, since 2003. Today I ask the Minister to consider what he can do for the aid fund to help those individuals, UK citizens among them, to regain their pensions.

The Minister will be familiar with the history of the case. Between 12 December 1979 and 17 April 1980, Southern Rhodesia was ruled directly by the UK. The pension fund that then existed was a consolidated revenue fund with no trustees. That meant that Her Majesty’s Government, who effectively took on responsibility for the fund when they were in government in Southern Rhodesia for that very short period, had a duty of care. On Zimbabwe’s independence, the UK Government were concerned to ensure that appropriate provisions were made, and they believed that there were full safeguards in the new constitution for the pension arrangements of former public sector workers. The reality, however, was rather different.

In February 2003, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe failed to make foreign currency available for those pension payments, which was in breach of paragraph 2(1) of schedule 6 and section 112 of the constitution. A number of requests have been made to secure the restarting of the pension payments and, as I understand it, in September 2009 the director of the Zimbabwean Government’s pensions office indicated that $3.5 million might be available and asked for applications from previous public sector workers now living in South Africa, Australia or the UK. So far, 850 applications have been received from those now living in South Africa and 350 from individuals in the UK. They are represented by a body called the Overseas Service Pensioners’ Association, which for many years has been championing the cause of getting the pensions payments started again.

OSPA has tried to establish how many individuals are affected across the world, and the best estimate is 1,200. There are different estimates, but OSPA believes that that is the right figure. That is relevant because until we understand how many people are affected, it is hard to quantify the figures that we are talking about and therefore reach a ballpark estimate of how much help we are seeking from the Minister and his aid budget.

Having reached that number and examined the applications already received, OSPA has calculated that if it allows for a reduction of one third for options of commutation, which most pensioners have taken up, and then uprates the figure to reflect the increase in the retail prices index, the appropriate annual figure to cover all individuals affected would be 4 million. It has made the same calculation for the back payment, which comes to 26 million. OSPA is realistic and recognises that there is no real chance of getting the back payment, but it would like some support from the Government to help it at least to reinstate the old pension amount.

OSPA would like the Government to work with the Zimbabwean Government to identify whether they really do now intend to make sums available, and to consider setting up a review of what the Department for International Development can do, using its aid budget or any other source of funds, to put the individuals affected back in pocket. They are ageing, so if we do not do something shortly, the money will not have the value to them that it should.

The following was added October 15, 2009
Important Message to all Rhodesian Government Pensioners

Circulated via ORAFs at the request of Peter Petter-Bowyer.

Important Message to all Rhodesian Government Pensioners


Mr Turville Kille has maintained constant contact with the Director of the Government Pensions Office in Harare, on behalf of the Public Service Pensioners’ Association.  He has reported that the Director is now seriously hoping to be able to pay a pension allowance in US$ to pensioners residing outside the country, whether they formally emigrated from Zimbabwe or just left the country.  There will be no back pay because due to hyper-inflation in Zimbabwe the value of pensions not paid since 2003 has been wiped out.  This information has been confirmed by the British Consul in Harare who discussed the scheme with the Director on 1 October.  However, the Director has not yet obtained the necessary approval from the Government.


In order for the Pensions Office to commence paying this allowance (if duly authorised), each pensioner must submit three documents:


1.         a completed Certificate of Life;
2.         a bank instruction form (giving details of the bank account into which the allowance is to be paid);
3.         a certified copy of the passport (the page with your photograph) or of your ID.


Copies of the Certificate of Life and the bank instruction form can be obtained from the OSPA office (address below).  Send your request by post, fax or email and OSPA will send you the forms.  Then return the completed forms, with the certified copy of the passport page or ID, to the OSPA office for forwarding by secure means to the Government Pensions Office.  When replying, please attach to the Certificate of Life a note giving:


         your date of entry into Rhodesian Government service;

         your date of retirement from that service;

         your job title, rank or grade in which Department at time of your retirement.


If you know of any Rhodesian Government pensioners who are not OSPA members and so will not see this notice, please inform them of the situation.  Ask for extra copies of  the two forms if you need them.


The Pensions Office Director hopes to be able to start making payments by December and that they would be back dated to August.


Requests for the two forms and replies to:

                        OSPA (Zimbabwe Pensions)

                        138 High Street


                        Kent TN9 1AX

                        Tel: 01732 363836 (Int: +44 1732 363836)

                        Fax: 01732 365070 (Int: +44 1732 365070)

                        Email: mail@ospa.org.uk


Please note:  OSPA cannot answer questions about pension entitlement, or related queries.



For those who live in South Africa, you might want to visit The Flame Lily Webpage and return your forms to the
Flame Lily Foundation (ZPA)
PO Box 95474
The Flame Lily Website also has further information regarding the pensions as well as many other topics.

The following is a letter from John "Aussie" Austin to Nick Hurd MP in response to news reports that the British Government is considering a billion dollar aid package to assist Zimbabwe.  (This added to the website on April 5, 2008)


LONDON        03 April 2008        Thursday


Dear Nick,


I am sure you & many of your colleagues will already be well aware that many former Zimbabwean pensioners forced out of that country have, for some many years now, not received a penny of their pensions.... particularly pensions earned by former employees of the Zimbabwe/Rhodesia government, forces, and statututory corporations. Furthermore, most of these now unpaid pensions have never been adjusted at all in terms of Zimbabwe's mind boggling inflation (now officially over 100 000% and unofficially much more than double that number). I am only one of many of them....... My own Zimbabwean pension used to be around 180 per month when I arrived here in 1988 - having been forced into early retirement via wrongful detention-without-trial for two years (1986-1988), after 21 years service rising to Head, Customs & Excise, Harare (my retiring civil service grade equates to somewhere between Asst Secretary to Under Secretary in the UK).


That pension(?) was part of the historic 1979 Lancaster House package, most fine print of which has long been reneged upon by the Mugabe regime. Moreover, that which the regime has not directly & deliberately disrupted has additionally been rendered worthless by the systematic criminal wreckage of the Zimbabwean economy by it's own regime. I personally know of a number of folk (including widows) who have worked all their lives in Zimbabwe, only to find themselves now penniless in the UK..... and eking out a living on the benefit regime here (these are the lucky ones - those who were born here or have some sort of ancestral right to return here). Many of the unlucky ones live in near poverty or actual poverty in South Africa or elsewhere, and in Zimbabwe too. Quite simply, this is just not right. Moreso, when you understand that the Mugabe regime has simultaneously rewarded so-called war veterans etcetera with ongoing multi million dollar pensions.... I say "so-called" because the age of many of them clearly makes their claims to being "veterans" of anything highly questionable. Moreover, I have no doubt that the pensions of the outgoing regime will be at the top of their priority lists whilst haggling deals concerning their relinquishment of power.


My 1988 Z$486 per month non-index-linked Lancaster House pension that used to yield around 180 in 1988, and which shrunk to about 3 before it was stopped altogether years ago by the Zimbabwe government, will today be worthless if re-instated. I say this because the Z$ has had three zeros removed twice in recent years. So, my non-index-linked pension of Z$486 now amounts to Z$0.000486 in now Zim currency. As I write, an egg (yes one egg) costs over Z$5million. So, if the current Head of Harare Customs & Excise (who will be a ZANUpf appointee) were to retire post Mugabe, I doubt very much whether he would accept a monthly pension of Z$0.000486...... so why should I and the other surviving Zimbabwean pensioners. And if not, why then should we approve of UK taxpayers' money being used to reward those who have stolen from us?


Note: Not just UK taxpayers' money, but all donor countries' taxpayers' money - for the pensioners affected are scattered throughout the free world donor-contributing diaspora of Zimbabwe.


The reason I write is to ask you to forcefully & effectively make the case for Zimbabwe pensioners in the House of Commons to tie any future Zimbabwe aid package(s) to a some sort of rectification of the theft of our collective pensions. I and my family have lived here and paid our taxes and dues for twenty years now, since 1988. Obviously any UK aid bundle will be paid for by the electorate and taxpayers of the UK. It must therefore be wholly reasonable that strings are tied to such new aid/gift money at the very least to put right that which has been stolen from our pensioners. To do otherwise is to reward theft and ignore old-age hardship caused by a criminal regime.


I shall be copying and blind copying this email out to a wide and multi-national church of interested folk in my network. It is my hope that you might be prepared to canvass this principle & policy to your parliamentary network also. I am very concerned that in the post-Mugabe era and the aid-fixes being bundled together, that the vulnerable and damaged pensioners are not excluded from the repair processes (it is already too late for many --- simply because they have since died).


I am fully aware that Zimbabwe has monumental issues to deal with - post Mugabe, and that plans and packages will be being hatched even as I write. That is precisely why I write just now; I don't want to see the forgotten pensioners left out of the equation. Please assist me to assist those many destitute Zimbabwe pensioners very much in distressed circumstances. Circumstances that neither you nor I would like to find ourselves nor our nearest and dearest. Thank you.




John Vincent Austin

Former Head, Harare Customs & Excise

21 Potter Street,  HA6  1QJ