The government workers, who had a three-day engagement with their employer in Harare this week, also called for a housing scheme for them as part of their non-monetary incentives.
The engagement, initiated by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, was meant to apprise the workers on their conditions of service and non-monetary incentives being worked out.
The Government also wanted to inform the workers on the ongoing rationalisation exercise in the civil service, shift in pay dates, impending introduction of bond notes as well as pension and medical aid benefits. Experts in various fields attended the meetings.
Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecelia Alexander said as workers’ representatives, they would soon approach the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing with a view to have a specific housing scheme for civil servants. She said many schemes had been established in the name of civil servants but in the end benefited outsiders and political bigwigs.
“There are other specific groups that have been given special schemes and we feel that civil servants have been left out and they should also be considered by Government, our employer. The issue of public service housing rentals also came to the fore and we feel that they have to be revisited as they are too high. The agreement was that various ministries are to make submissions to the Local Government ministry. Civil servants were also encouraged to migrate their bank accounts to the newly established National Building Society to access mortgages for houses.”
“Another resolution was that Government should walk the talk on corruption,” she said.
“It was resolved that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should consider stimulating the agricultural sector by putting money for irrigation projects and also incentivise farmers to contribute to national economic development. It was also resolved that there is need to grow the economy by giving incentives to investors, both local and international ones. There is also need to plug glaring revenue leakages at areas such as tollgates and having a database for the informal sector to improve the tax base.”
She said the Government debt to PSMAS frustrated civil servants’ access to quality health services hence their demand for it to be paid off as a matter of urgency.
On pending bond notes, Mrs Alexander said: “The resolution was that there is need for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to vigorously market the importance of plastic money and bond notes at the grassroots level as the perception about bond notes was negative.”
Civil servants have demanded that Government reduces rentals for the houses they are occupying and the liquidation of its debt to PSMAS to ease their access to quality health services.“One of the recommendations was that a special housing scheme be established specifically for the Government workers,” she said.