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Tension Rises Over Civil Servants' Pay Hike

  • Chris Gande

No pay increase for Zimbabwe's civil servants as national strike sputters

No pay increase for Zimbabwe's civil servants as national strike sputters

Civil servants became anxious about their pay last week after a message purporting to be from the government said there would be no pay for teachers this month.

Civil servants have called for an urgent meeting with Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche following reports that salary adjustments announced last month will not be effected this month.

Workers’ unions told Studio 7 that the meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday where the minister is expected to explain why there is no pay adjustment.

The government last month bowed to pressure from workers' unions and increased the salaries from about $300 for the lowest paid to about $500 but refused to curve in to their demands pegged on a breadline of $540 per month for an urban family of six.

Some members of the uniformed forces Monday told Studio 7 they had received pay slips that do not reflect salary increases.

Civil servants became anxious about their pay last week after a message purporting to be from the government widely circulating on WhatsApp said there would be no pay for teachers this month because of targeted sanctions against government officials.

The message reads in party, “Notice is hereby given to the effect that only the uniformed forces will be paid their salaries with back-pay this month, February.

“Those in the educations sector will be paid theirs in March. However, take note that the teachers’ back-pay will be staggered into April as gvt (sic) cannot afford a one off payment since revenue inflows are erratic.”

The message goes on to say since the uniformed forces are getting their backpay this month there is likely to be a shortage of cash in banks.

The message ends with the slogan: “Long live Our Gvt, Long Live.” When contacted for comment Minister Goche declined to talk to Studio 7.

But Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association Chief Executive Officer, Sifiso Ndlovu, said government would be reneging on the agreement signed in January if it does not increase salaries of civil servants.
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