WASHINGTON D.C. —
Furious civil servants were finally paid delayed December salaries Tuesday with teachers’ unions claiming that the government effected some unexplained deductions.
Manuel Nyawo, chief executive of the Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, and Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe said teachers were surprised and angry over deductions ranging from $30 to $50 per person which the government claims were for pension contributions.
Some added that the deductions depended on workers' salaries.
Majongwe said his union’s position now was to say to teachers "enough is enough and ... stand up for their rights. The Apex Council is letting us down."
He noted that "the time for fighting is now. The time to seek the truth is now.”
On the other hand, Nyawo said all civil servants, through the Apex Council which is a state and workers' negotiating arm, have sought an urgent meeting with the government to discuss the salary deductions.
“We know that the government of President Robert Mugabe is a caring government, it will listen to our concerns,” he said.
The government has been struggling to pay its pensioners too, a development that has fueled speculation that the deductions might be part of a scheme to raise money for pensioners.
Government doctors and nurses have already hinted that they will go on strike beginning of the new year over delays in salary and bonus payments.