By CHILA NAMAIKO –
GOVERNMENT says it is working at establishing a pension scheme for sportspersons to give them a decent livelihood once their playing career is over.
This is part of an under-construction Sports Incentive Policy that will ensure all sportspersons were able to earn a decent pay and contribute meaningfully to a pension scheme for their livelihood after retirement.
To this effect, the Football Association of Zambia is currently developing a Pension and Insurance Scheme for footballers in the country to ensure their welfare after retirement.
Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska said the Government was putting in place sustainable mechanisms to address the plight of retired sportspersons to uplift their standard of living after retiring.
“Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member may wish to know that Government is aware that a lot of retired sportspersons, especially footballers, live in poverty following their retirement. Government is deeply concerned with this state of affairs,” he said.
Dr Msiska was responding to MMD Chembe Member of Parliament (MP) Mwansa Mbulakulima through questions for written answers.
The Chembe lawmaker wanted to know whether the Government was aware that a lot of retired sportsmen and women, especially footballers, lived in poverty following their retirement.
He also wanted to know what plans the Government had to assist the retired sportspersons.
In response, Dr Msiska said the main objective of the Sports Incentive Policy was to ensure that sportspersons earned a decent pay and contributed meaningfully to a pension scheme for their welfare after retirement.
He said the retired sportspersons were eligible for any Government empowerment programmes such as the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund under the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission.
Other empowerment programmes they could benefit from are the Resettlement Programme under the Vice-President’s Office and the Women’s Empowerment Programme.
Dr Msiska stated the men and women in the sports fraternity could further benefit from many other incentives such as the Social Cash Transfer under the ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare.