Salary hikes unsustainable, short-sighted — Chinamasa

HARARE - Salary increments are “unsustainable and short-sighted” in a depressed economy like Zimbabwe’s, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said.

The country faces waning economic prospects, with its gross domestic product (GDP) expected to barely grow this year.

According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe’s GDP growth declined to 1,7 percent last year from 2013’s 3,2 percent.

“The state in which our economy is in is a sad one… therefore it does not even make sense for anyone to ask for a pay rise let alone threaten to strike over issues to do with remuneration,” the Treasury chief told a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) symposium last week.

“I know there are certain sectors threatening to strike over salary issues, may we please be reasonable, once the economy starts performing everyone can have their raise,” he said, adding that all employers, particularly government, could not afford salary increments.

His remarks come amid strike threats by civil servants, including teachers and doctors.

“I find this salary increment talk very disturbing. Is there a single person out there who does not know that the economy has not been performing? Employers simply cannot afford it, government cannot even afford this,” he said.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya added that the state of Zimbabwe’s economy does not warrant any salary increases in whatever sector.

“This economy cannot afford any salary increases, there is not a single sector performing well enough to afford this privilege,” the former CBZ Financial Holdings chief executive said.

Civil servants in Zimbabwe are among the lowest paid in the region, a scenario which has resulted in a massive brain drain with most of them leaving for greener pastures in neighbouring countries, and some to as far afield as New Zealand and Australia, among other countries abroad.

The country’s wage bill — expected to gobble 81 percent of government’s $4 billion 2015 budget — has been a major issue among calls for reforms, with Chinamasa moving to audit the civil service as recommended by the International Monetary Fund.

In his 2015 budget statement, he warned that recurrent expenditure will balloon in 2015, the bulk of it going towards salaries’ of 235 000-plus workforce.

The civil service audit, and consequent retrenchments, come on the back the Zanu PF government’s ambitious economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation — popularly known as ZimAsset — which committed to create 2,2 million jobs.


    Comments (8)

    mhata yako chinamasa tod mari dzedu zvenyu zvehuori izvo muchinyepa kuti nyika haina mari ndezvenyu

    juru - 27 January 2015

    i remember in 2013 my President Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe saying that there shall be a huge increment on the salaries of the civil servants plus the government was going to create 2 million other jobs and people in Chiweshe ululated big time . Is the minister of finance trying to tell us that our President is a liar or what . hhaahahahahaha

    Timothy Mutanho - 27 January 2015

    Mr Chinamasa have you finished the 'investigations on Didymus Mutasa in Rusape" that you were assigned by your party to conduct? Please tell your colleagues in government that they better put their energy towards more important things that benefit Zimbabweans. Also advise The Herald that to stop being fickle they should devote 80% of items on ZimAsset, not Mujuru and cabal like is currently happening.

    Kunda Kinde - 27 January 2015

    Passing thorugh the High court of Zimbabwe, The constitutional court government offices of Zimbabwe and tell the world that Zimbabwe has no money would sount stupid indeed. Just see the most expensive cars in the world parked there and you will agree with me. Chinamasa has money to have someone stay in a hotel in Singa[ore for 35 days hey mahwani chaiwo for a poor country.Zuma with a robust economy spend his holiday in Nkadhla there in South Africa.

    maita - 28 January 2015

    isu madoctor u promised us increament

    dr - 28 January 2015

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