An entire year has come and gone but Shameeza Mohamed, is still awaiting the National Insurance Scheme [NIS] death benefit she became entitled to after the demise of her husband nearly five years ago.
The woman who had endured an abusive relationship for many years during which she was stabbed multiple times, became a widow after her husband consumed poison and died in November 2013.
Although Mohamed was assured that the processing of her death benefit claim had started months ago, yesterday she learnt that this was farther from the truth.
But this development has caused Mohamed to belatedly expose a particularly troubling situation to which she has been subjected for the past months. At the centre of her dilemma is a male NIS officer [name withheld], who Mohamed confessed had promised to process her claim. The promised assistance was however not without a ‘catch’.
The woman, during a ‘tell all’ conversation yesterday, revealed how the NIS officer had assured her that he could process her claim in a speedy fashion if she submitted to his sexual advances. “He would text me night and day and tell me how he love me and how he could get things done for me fast. He tell me ‘So long you husband dead I sure you does lonely at nights. He even tell me how I still look young like a school girl,” related Mohamed.
The 33-year-old mother of four said that while she tolerated the text messages, hoping hopes that the man would process her claim, it wasn’t until yesterday that she became aware that the man was only out to take advantage of her.
According to Mohamed, she first started her engagement with NIS at the beginning of last year although her husband passed away in 2013. Her first meeting at the Brickdam, Georgetown office, she recalled, was with a female officer whom she remembers as “very friendly”.
While the male officer was just as friendly, the woman recalled that his ‘friendliness’ quickly reached another level.
“First thing he did was ask me for my phone number and asked if I on Whatsapp or Facebook and I said I don’t know anything about that. He asked me if I would mine if he text me…”
Believing that the man required her number to advance her claim, the woman obliged. It didn’t take long for her to realise that the man had other intentions.
The woman, who showed this publication a series of text messages which substantiated her claims of the NIS officer, revealed that although she did not appreciate many of the texts, and told the officer as much, she kept hoping that the benefits would be processed because of her financial need.
“I was glad to know somebody helping me out but he started telling me things suh out of the way that I didn’t like it. He was asking me things like ‘would you like a man to make love to you?’
He asked me how much years me and me husband tek up and I tell since I was 13. He kept telling me I gon get through [with the benefits] but I need some good loving. He started calling me at nights and ask me what kind underwear I got on…” recounted Mohamed.
The woman recalled that on one occasion the man asked her to accompany him to a restaurant to complete some paper work. “I had to ask he why we had to do paper work outside he office but he tell me he had to go to a mechanic shop and didn’t want to hold up me paper work,” recalled Mohamed.
According to Mohamed, the man also asked if she was hungry and volunteered to buy her lunch but she declined.
Mohamed said that although the man had suggested that becoming sexually involved with him would have helped to fast-track her claim, she was convinced that he was genuinely doing what was necessary to get it done.
“He advised me that I needed to get one of the witnesses to do another statement because it was not done right…I had to get two witnesses to say that I live for some 17 years with me husband so I could claim for the benefit,” explained Mohamed.
Relying on the man to help process her claim, Mohamed said that even when she had to change phone numbers because of a password issue, she ensured that she furnished him with a new number.
The man, the woman said, assured her that her claim would soon be available. This was about one week ago.
But things came to a head last week when the man informed her that he was required to be on leave because of a fractured arm and therefore was not in a position to personally handle her claim anymore.
Mohamed said that she was startled when she learnt yesterday from another officer who started dealing with her claim that it wasn’t even possible for it to be completed anytime soon. “I started to behave ‘bad’ in NIS because after all this time, and all I had to hear from this man and I still can’t get nothing process.
“He keep fooling me and say everything okay but nothing was ever okay, all this time,” said Mohamed as she scrolled the many text messages in her phone from the NIS officer who up to yesterday continued to assure her that he will urge his supervisor to process the claim.
But according to the woman it was only yesterday, after a conversation with an acquaintance, that she learnt that all along she was being harassed. The woman said that she was also advised to make public the ordeal that she endured in hopes that others would not suffer in the same way.
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