Government has adopted a “no work, no pay” approach against civil servants who participate in illegal demonstrations and stayaways.
This means any civil servant who participates in illegal industrial actions will not be paid for the duration of the absence. Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira issued the warning at the handover of farming implements — including tractors, ploughs and planters — among others to Portlet Estates cooperative in Makonde yesterday.
Minister Mupfumira said civil servants should not be used by detractors to destabilise the country.
“We expect civil servants to work hard. Be warned that as Government, we will not be as lenient with you civil servants as last time when you participated in an illegal stayaway and did not turn up for work,” she said.
“You are warned that next time it is going to be no-work-no pay for all civil servants who participate in illegal stayaways.”
She said labour dispute resolution mechanisms needed to be exhausted before any industrial action could be undertaken.
Industrial action, she said, was every worker’s right according to Article 65, but only when a deadlock persisted after three meetings of the Apex Council and Government.
She said detractors bent on destabilising the country would influence civil servants to participate in illegal industrial action but would not be there when the same workers faced the consequences.
“Do not be misled because the people who influence you to participate in illegal demonstrations and stayaways will not be there when you and your families have to face the music alone,” she said.
Government workers, Minister Mupfumira said, should not be quick to embark on industrial action over salary delays of between a week or two saying some workers in the private sector were going for months without being paid.
She said punitive sanctions by the West had constrained the fiscal space but Government was trying its best to ensure its workers were paid.
Zimbabwe has seen a wave of anarchy disguised as “peaceful demonstrations” orchestrated by opposition players, which Government said were aimed at destabilising the country.
This has prompted Government adopt Statutory Instrument 101, which prohibits any demonstrations in and around Harare CBD for the next two weeks.
Turning to command agriculture, Minister Mupfumira said lax monitoring and mentoring programmes for farmers should be attended to urgently for the success of the programme.
She said extension and technical services needed to be scaled up.
“Agritex should take a leading role in ensuring that Command Agriculture is a success. We have seen over the years that extension service are not as robust and available as in years gone by,” she said.
“Extension workers should exercise due diligence in selecting people to take part in the programme. To people who are not into farming five tonnes per hectare is a small figure but it is more than the national average by far. This calls for serious people.”
She said the selection process should be strictly on merit and Agritex needed to ensure tight supervision of how the inputs availed by Government were used.
Agritex expertise, she said was needed now more than ever as the country took steps to ensure food security.
“Agritex extension workers should take stock on why farmers are not managing more than one tonne per hectare so that where people need to be taught they get the service,” she said.
A cocktail of early mobilisation of resources by Government before the onset of the rains and maximum utilisation of water harvested in dams for irrigation, would guarantee success, she said.
Portlet Estates cooperative has 83 members and is targeting 249 hectares for maize production this season.
Makonde legislator Cde Kindness Paradza attended the ceremony while Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Cde Faber Chidarikire was represented by director in his office, Mr Jim Kadziya. Herald