Civil servants savage govt

HARARE - Fed-up civil servants have accused President Robert Mugabe’s broke government of using divide and rule tactics in its dealings with them, after it was announced that soldiers, the police and prison officers would receive their salaries ahead of everyone else this month.

This emerged after government negotiators met with representatives of public servants on Wednesday, and as angry medical personnel and teachers threatened to escalate their mass actions over the State’s failure to pay salaries on time and to honour its bonus promises.

Sources who were present at the meeting also told the Daily News yesterday that “nothing useful” had emerged from the gathering, amid signs that the ongoing talks between the employer and its employees could collapse completely.

One of the thorny issues that emerged at the meeting was the January pay schedule that was released by the government, where the State would pay the army and the police ahead of other civil servants — a tactic that union representatives described as “an oppressive divide and rule” manoeuvre.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe told the Daily News that civil servants almost declared a deadlock at the Wednesday gathering, but were hamstrung by the fact that policy specifies that this can only be done on the third meeting.

“We protested against the clear bias in favour of the military and we were advised that changing the cycle would create confusion. But having reported this to our members, we now ask our structures to debate and give us guidance on the way forward,” Majongwe said.

According to the released pay schedule for January, soldiers will get their salaries on January 16, followed by the police and prison service on January 20, while teachers will get their wages on January 27, with the rest of the civil service getting paid on the 30th.

“Last year, we got our bonuses after Christmas, soldiers got theirs before then. This year we got our salaries after Christmas, soldiers got theirs before and now we are supposed to be paid after they and their police counterparts have been paid again. How do you explain this?” Majongwe fumed.

Teachers hold placards during a demonstration recently.

Civil servants had also insisted during the meeting that they wanted the government to give them the exact dates when their bonuses would be paid. However, the government was noncommittal on the issue, citing a non-performing economy.

“The final government position was that they will bring the exact dates at a meeting pencilled for the 8th of February. They also made it clear that the bonus payments will be staggered.

“Civil servants also protested against government plans to rationalise the civil service, saying they were not happy with the way it had handled the audit outcomes, with the government promising to facilitate a meeting on January 20 to deal with the issue.

“We also demanded non-monetary benefits in view of the deteriorating conditions of service but as usual government made the promise that they will deliver on this item later”.

“We told them we want land to build our own houses, not these Nssa initiatives that will benefit government bigwigs. On pensions, our demand was very clear that these deductions must stop forthwith. The best compromise we can make is just a deduction of not more than $10,” another employer representative who attended the Wednesday meeting said.

Meanwhile, divisions have rocked the Apex council, the body that represents all government workers during negotiations with the State, over who should replace Richard Gundane as the council president following the expiry of his term last year.

Gundane, who was not immediately available for comment as his mobile phone was not reachable, is allegedly wants to extend his term of office in what other unions view as another government tactic to “divide and rule” them.

“Like his predecessor Tendai Chikowore who stayed in power for seven years, he wants to remain there, yet his executive was the worst there ever was.

“We are saying by now a new leadership should be representing us during negotiations because the current executive no longer has the mandate of the unions.

“For us we already have Cecilia Alexander as our candidate and we have demanded that we have elections during our next meeting,” Majongwe thundered.


Comments (16)

that has always been the case that soldiers and police get paid first, then teachers, then rest of civil service in that order. what is the story here?

what else is new - 8 January 2016

Who really cares ? Most so called public servants are useless deadbeats who are really Zanu pf ghost workers

sasha.jogi - 8 January 2016

zvirwadzo,but soldiers need to be honoured first because of the june 27 . 2008

g40 - 8 January 2016

Civil Servants should know that the economy is in a mess and Treasury is broke. The revenue that Treasury is receiving is far less than their wages, bonuses and pensions. Govt will pay security forces first so that they can keep peace and if the rest of the Civil Servants decide to behave in uncivil manner then the paid security forces will keep peace. Good luck for 2016!

Samuel - 8 January 2016

Well it is not a secret that soldiers and police are the one who are keeping zanu in power and this is their govt not a govt chosen by people .They get first preference so that come elections they vote 10 times for zanu after that they will go to reserves to intimidate the povo and coduct barbaric pungwezi threatening and killing anyone who does not want zanu .But what we know they police and soldiers will also not be paid in next few months bcoz this so called govt is dead broke that is a well known fact . Mobutu ,and Banda did exactly like that and now Mugabe is doing that but has not worked instead caused people to hate them most . Mugabe must VAMUS .

Diibulaanyika - 8 January 2016

@Diibulaanyika.....agree with you, very soon it's the soldiers and police who will be demonstrating because really this incompetent govt is fast running out of money. That's what happens when the govt is run by morons who don't understand how economics work, all they know is how to rig the elections and to oppress. My advice to the teachers, nurses and doctors is to try other countries because clearly very soon they won't be getting anything from mugabe's govt but have families to feed.

misty - 9 January 2016

Is a 13th cheque a right ? Is that not gratuity for a job well done . Salaries yes, but bonus for what ?

Ira - 9 January 2016

The gvt used to pay solders first, followed by teachers, the police and prison service was paid the same day with the rest of the civil service. Now the police and prison service will be given priority ahead of the rest of the civil service, according to this report. This gvt is dead broke. When are we going to hear debates of strategies to revive the economy, how to lure investors, how to revive Belmont industries in Bulawayo, how to revive SMM holdings in Zvishavane and Mashaba, how to enhance value addition and beneficiation, how to improve water and electricity supply, and a plethora of other areas of interest to the country. The "when" question need answers.

biko - 9 January 2016

@Misty you are spot on this country has been in the hands of fools for a long time hence we find ourselves where we are today . Fools thieves and thugs are never entrusted with govt power bcoz they will abuse it and stay on until donkeys grow horns and that is stone age type of govt which do not work in a modern day Mugabe got .

Diibulaanyika - 9 January 2016

Government cannot help even if it wanted to they are broke! And it will get worse this year with El Niño. The only industry with any growth potential is the Mining sector which will be stunted by indigenization or should we rather say Zanufication.

Nooshie - 9 January 2016

anonzi Samuel uyo anopenga.manje majaira gorehatirovi vanhu

wangu - 11 January 2016

anonzi Samuel uyo anopenga.manje majaira gorehatirovi vanhu

wangu - 11 January 2016

strike after strike will wake ZANU PF gvt up. Lets no work until we receive our bonus.

Robsugar - 11 January 2016


rufaro - 11 January 2016

Jono saying civil servants shldnt be paid bonuses coz they have not worked should be equated to a gvt in power yet it did not win elections

merina - 11 January 2016

Kana pasina mari ngatishaye tose

NYARADZAI - 13 January 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.