Treat civil servants equally

HARARE - Government's move to shift pay dates monthly is tantamount to treating the symptoms and not the disease which sadly has the potential to paralyse Zimbabwe and return us to the dark days of 2007-2008.

We recall with revulsion those difficult days that were characterised by strikes as well as long queues  for almost everything.

We now watch in horror as President Robert Mugabe-led government reverses gradually all the gains we have made in the past few years.

Our economy is in bad shape and this is more apparent in government’s failure to pay its workers.

Stop gap measures are no longer the solution and Mugabe and his ministers need to change tact and proffer proper medication that will revive the economy.

It is sad that a government that is led by someone who was once a teacher is so callous and unconcerned by the teachers in whose hands the future of a whole generation lies.

Teachers, for the umpteenth time, will get their salaries late while other civil servants will receive their dues earlier than in previous months.

We wonder, whether this is a classical case of Animal Farm where some animals are more important than others.

Is it because teachers are not an important sector as nurses or soldiers?

Government, as cash strapped as it is, should prioritise all its workers and treat them equally and not like in the present situation where teachers are regarded as second class.

It was only some eight years ago when the same government failed to pay teachers resulting in children being thrown out of school.

We hope government will take corrective measures to avert a strike that could have a ripple effect on the lives of our nation and rob our children’s future.

Yes, teachers have no option but to display their anger through strikes and while we do not encourage such a move when schools open next month we are also aware that they deserve to be heard and respected.

Doctors, nurses, soldiers and even police officers who are often used to crush strikes are all products of teachers.

We are all products of teachers and it is high time that government stops taking them for granted because whatever action they will take will affect generations to come.

Our government should stop the divide and rule tactics and treat all workers equally, particularly teachers who are the custodians of our country’s future.

The coming school term is vital as candidate students will be seating for examinations that shape their future and industrial actions will have dire consequences on their preparations.

We are aware that already morale among the teaching staff is low and this approach from a government famous for making misplaced priorities will only worsen the situation.

Conditions of service for teachers are bad, in rural areas teachers live crammed in single houses without access to basics such as toilets while some schools situated in remote areas where they have to use scotch-carts to get to nearest towns.

Comments (1)

Civil servants are dedicated to their work all the time. They always get raw deals from the employer since long back. They were promised and promised but nothing materialised from the employer. Now they want to give stands to unemployed youths living their employees without homes for political reasons. What a shame to those who proposed that.

Gumandafa - 18 August 2016

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