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Labour Minister Holds Crucial Meeting With Agitated Civil Servants

  • Jonga Kandemiiri
  • Gibbs Dube

Leaders of some civil servants associations met in Harare on Thursday with Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga to get an update on their salaries and working conditions.

While saying they were pleased that the minister agreed to meet them, College Lecturers' Association of Zimbabwe (COLAZ) president and Apex Council chairman David Dzatsunga said little came out of the meeting that will please disgruntled government workers.

Dzatsunga said the minister insisted that the Apex Council must be legally reconstituted in order for her to negotiate with them.

Earlier this week Minister Matibenga turned down a request by some of the associations asking the government to recognise the old Apex Council led by Tendai Chikowore to spearhead salary negotiations for three months.

Citing regulations, she ordered the workers to reconstitute the current Apex Council or bring the old executive back for a two-year term.

Members of the Public Service Association (PSA) did not attend Thursday’s meeting, with its secretary general Emmanuel Tichareva saying the group’s schedule conflicted with the meeting time.

Dzatsunga said they will reach out to PSA and set up another meeting next Monday in order for them to move forward together.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe general secretary Raymond Majongwe agreed with Dzatsunga that nothing tangible came out of the meeting.

Sifiso Ndlovu, the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association, said the Apex Council is expected to meet on Monday to address issues currently affecting the council.

Ndlovu said conflicts within the council have resulted in stalled salary negotiations between the government and civil servants who are demanding that the lowest paid workers should make at least $600.00 a month.