WASHINGTON DC — Civil servants have welcomed President Robert Mugabe's pledge to increase salaries of public sector workers saying they need a salary raise in order to make ends meet in a nation with a poverty datum line of almost $560 a month for a family of six.
President Mugabe on Monday promised that the incoming Zanu PF government will raise allowances of war veterans and former detainees and also increase salaries of 230,000 civil servants at a time Zimbabwe is experiencing serious economic challenges.
The lowest paid civil servants get more than $200 a month.
David Dzatsunga, chairman of the Apex Council - which negotiates salaries and conditions of service with the government on behalf of civil servants – said the incoming administration is likely to take care of their needs than the previous unity government.
Sifiso Ndlovu, chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association, said most civil servants believe that President Robert Mugabe will ensure that their salaries are increased for the second time this year after getting a 5.3 percent raise in January.
“We are sure that the president will deliver as he is a person who never lies about such serious issues,” said Ndlovu.
Outgoing Public Service minister Lucia Matibenga said she is not to blame for the unity government’s failure to constantly increase civil servants’ salaries.
And economist Godfrey Kanyenze of the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe, believes that the incoming Zanu PF government will not be able to increase salaries of civil servants as state coffers are currently empty.
“It’s unrealistic to think of increasing salaries when Zimbabwe can’t even afford to pay August salaries,” said Kanyenze.