National News

Govt reneges on salary promise 

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The government has reneged on its promise to increase salaries for civil servants this month amid fears the move will likely sour relations between the two parties.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube, promised to increase government workers’ salaries this month.

However, the Apex Council secretary general, David Dzatsunga told Business Times yesterday that the situation for government workers was now dire.

Dzatsunga said civil servants would meet tomorrow to discuss their plight and map the way forward.

“We had hoped that the finance minister would honour his promise to review our salaries this September. But, with no increment, it’s now very difficult for us to make ends meet,” Dzatsunga said.

“We are just wondering how on earth we are supposed to manage fees, day to day life and be able to go to work.”

He said the civil servants had been assured of an increment this month.

“Now that the majority of the civil servants have received their salaries and there is no increment it shows that we were given a basket to carry water. This is utter lack of respect to all the government workers as we were planning in line with the increment,” he said.

A pay-slip seen by this publication shows that a lowly ranked police officer received a net salary of ZWL$45 000 per month in the last two months but the difference is that this month he got ZWL$42 250 after pension and medical aid deductions were reviewed in line with inflation.

“It’s a nightmare for me as I expected to surpass the ZWL$80 000 mark this month. I don’t know what I am going to do with this ZWL$42 000 and how I will pull through next month,” a police officer told Business Times.

In a meeting with civil servants in August this year, Ncube said: “The government will, however, review the situation in September to see if there is a scope to increase the US$ as well as the ZWL components premised on revenue inflows.”

The government workers are demanding a pre-October 2018 salary level of US$540 a month saying their low salary no longer matches the rising cost of living.

Efforts to get a comment from Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima were futile as his mobile number continuously went unanswered.

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