Thursday, 17 August 2017

NO PAY INCREASE FOR CIVIL SERVANTS : MUGABE

President Robert Mugabe has ruled out pay increase for civil servants in a development which marks a huge shift from his populist decisions which analysts have previously blamed for hurting the country’s economy.

Mugabe has consistently used State occasions such as the Independence Day and Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Day, to make pronouncements in favour of the civil servants, even if his government did not have enough in Treasury to support such decisions.

But addressing the nation during the ZDF Day commemorations in Harare on Tuesday, Mugabe acknowledged civil servants’ the low salaries but said they were still expected to perform at optimum level.

“Their salaries are very low. I think as our country develops, our workers will get better salaries but we cannot say because you are getting little salaries, we should stop working for the country. No,” Mugabe said.

“Government work should go on smoothly because we know that if our country remains peaceful, without fighting, it will eventually develop to a level where money will be readily available and we will be able to pay better salaries. So that is what we are aiming for.”

Last year, Mugabe reversed the suspension of civil servants bonuses’ and a cut in official travel allowances by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, as he bid to save finances by introducing belt-tightening measures.

Zimbabwe’s economy is currently experiencing serious problems which have resulted company closures and job losses on the back of falling production levels.

As a result, Mugabe’s government has had to contend with reduced revenues from sources such as company and employee taxes — some of the traditional sources of its funding for the huge civil service.

The average Zimbabwean civil servant currently earns around $400 per month, which ranks them among the lowest paid civil servants in Africa.

This is well below the poverty datum line estimate of about $540, according to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe.

The $540 breadline applies to an average family of five. daily news

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