Govt must treat its workers equally

EDITOR - The preferential treatment the broke Zanu PF government has been according Zimbabwe’s uniformed forces through early payment of their salaries shows how President Robert Mugabe uses the divide and rule tactic to manipulate government workers.

Government coffers are dry and we all know that. However, when an employer then religiously pays the uniformed forces ahead of other State employees who face the same challenges, it smacks of discrimination.

In all fairness, government should rotate the privilege. Since no reason has been proffered, people must be forgiven for opining that Mugabe wants to placate uniformed forces so that they in turn obey his orders.

Mugabe’s approach is openly selective and unfair. Other civil servants — who include nurses, teachers, extension workers, social welfare officers, among others — obviously feel they are being treated as second-rate employees.  

Ironically, all civil servants have been pestering their employer for better salaries and improved working conditions. This is the real issue the teachers and nurses among others who toil daily to keep the wheel of government service turning would want addressed.

The majority of the country’s rural teachers have to endure poor living conditions in remote outposts, where they have to struggle to have access to potable water and other basic services like transport. Those who work in satellite and institutions in resettlement areas, the living conditions are not bearable to say the least.

Nurses in State-run hospitals have to do with inadequate and dilapidated equipment. Pensioners are probably the worst-hit as they have been receiving their payouts well into the following month. These are people who have worked all their lives and expect to enjoy in their retirement.

At least they should all be afforded some measure of respect by getting their measly salaries and payouts on time.

All government employees have to service loans with financial institutions and have to pay rentals and other monthly bills where they live. All these accrue interest when paid beyond the last day of the month.

The openly contemptuous treatment of other State employees and pensioners is a recipe for disaster, especially in a country with a restive population that blames the Mugabe regime for presiding over the worsening economic rot.

Mugabe’s government needs to be realistic and address pertinent issues that can turnaround the country’s fortunes.

Better still, they should just step aside and pass the baton to fresh brains with alternative ideas.

Mugabe and his hangers-on in Zanu PF saw this coming, but chose to bury their heads in the sand and pretended all was well.


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