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Uncertainty Over Pay Hike for Zimbabwe Public Sector Workers in June

  • Gibbs Dube

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said his ministry will look at salaries once transparency has been established as to the revenue stream from the Marange diamond field, still controlled by the military

A senior representative of Zimbabwean civil servants said Monday that it's unclear if they will see salary increases in June as President Robert Mugabe promised two months ago as no deal has been tabled on the proposed hikes with that month at hand.

Tendai Chikowore, chairwoman of the Apex Council which negotiates on behalf of state employees, for that despite a series of meetings with government representatives, nothing tangible has been worked out with respect to civil servant wages.

Chikowore said the Apex Council will hold a key meeting on Wednesday with government officials to discuss pay increases and possible pay-out dates.

Civil servants want salaries increased to about US$500 from less than US$200 currently.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said his ministry will look at salaries once transparency has been established as to the revenue stream from the Marange diamond field in the east of the country, which is tightly controlled by the Zimbabwean military.

Chikowore said the increases Mr. Mugabe promised are still expected in June or July. "We are expecting something in June but what is important is for us all to first agree on new salary packages and pay-out dates,” Chikowore told VOA reporter Gibbs Dube.

Economist Eric Bloch said public sector workers are likely to receive only small increases in due to the country's continuing economic problems, including poor revenues.

“This will be an uphill task for [Biti] as he has to cancel other expenditures in order to set aside funds for salary increases for public sector employees,” Bloch said.

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