Anxiety grows over civil servants' salaries

HARARE - Government is still struggling to come up with civil servants’ July salaries after it failed to pay the army on time.

Soldiers who are usually paid on the 14th of every month, were left bitterly disappointed last week when they checked with their banks for their money only to find their accounts blank.

Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira told the Daily News yesterday that government will come up with a clear road map today.

“(We)...should have a position by tomorrow (today),” Mupfumira said yesterday, without giving further details.

This comes after a series of meetings between the government and its employees failed to conclusively deal with the issue of their salaries.

The government, which is also expected to pay pensioners their June allowances today, has over the past months been struggling to pay civil servants’ salaries on time.

Pay dates for pensioners have continuously been shifting every month, owing to government’s dry coffers.

According to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, the current civil service wage bill, which chews more than 80 percent of government’s revenues, stands at a staggering $260 million. It is now mid- July and  the issue of salaries has been causing a lot of anxiety among civil servants, according to Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) president Richard Gundani.

Speaking to our sister paper the Daily News on Sunday over the weekend, Gundani said they were still waiting for the government to announce the pay dates.

There was a two-week delay in the June pay cheque for the military, a central security pillar throughout President Robert Mugabe’s 36-year rule.

Early this month, civil servants, including teachers and medical practitioners went on a nationwide strike that crippled operations at major hospitals and schools after government failed to pay them their salaries on time.

The strike also paved way for a stay-away protest movement led by activist pastor Evan Mawarire, which shut down most businesses, government offices, schools and hospitals in the biggest act of public defiance in the country in over a decade.

After being cornered, government reacted by pushing forward the health sector’s pay dates by a few days and it also promised to pay its workers their salaries on time.

Comments (1)

Military men and woman are the pillars of any dictator, yet they are the very forces that have seen the end of any dictatorial system through out the history. In the case of Zimbabwe, Mugabe has been playing it safe by ensuring that only his cousin and relatives are in the top powers. Police Commissioner General who is the top guy in the security forces, is a in law to the Mugabes, the second in command Chiwenga is a cousin, so is Zimhondi who is a very near cousin. However the real suffering chaps are the foot soldiers who are not getting their salaries in time. They must explode, and then they will be free

amina - 20 July 2016

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