WASHINGTON DC —
The cash-strapped Harare government has come under fire for allegedly using divide and rule tactics in giving bonuses to those in the security sector while ignoring other sectors of the civil service.
But those who have been snubbed are now threatening industrial action causing further friction in the country.
Members of the army, police and prison services got their bonuses last month. The government though has not yet disclosed when it will pay teachers and other civil servants.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa had promised to stagger the bonuses but sources in his ministry told VOA Studio 7 that Treasury has been failing to raise money required to pay or increase salaries for civil servants which gobble 70 percent of government revenue.
Chinamasa has also been under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to contain public sector wage demands to avoid stoking inflation.
Reached for comment, Labour Minister Nicholas Goche said he had no comment and queried why VOA wanted to know about the plight of Zimbabwe’s workers when Harare did not ask Washington about its own government shutdown in October that affected federal workers.
Attempts to reach Chinamasa were futile as he was said to be in a meeting.
But Progressive Teachers Union general secretary Raymond Majongwe said teachers are fast losing their patience.
ZIMTA chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu agreed, saying the government has to pay teachers their bonuses early.
For perspective reporter Tatenda Gumbo spoke with executive director of the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe, John Mufukare, and acting secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Gideon Shoko.
Shoko said the solution is for employers to pay their employees bonuses and related packages.