WASHINGTON DC —
The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has described as shocking new civil servants’ pay dates indicating that teachers will be paid next month.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page responding to a letter on staggered pay dates written and signed by Treasury secretary Willard L. Manungo, PTUZ said the government should brace for a bitter fight as teachers are set to withdraw their services with effect from June 26th.
According to Manungo, members of the Zimbabwe National Army and Air Force of Zimbabwe are expected to get their pay on June 27, Zimbabwe Republic Police (June 30), teachers (July 7) and the rest of civil servants July 14. Pensioners are set to receive their monthly income July 19th.
The PTUZ said, “Cdes (comrades) the dates that have been flighted for our salary payments are shocking. Cdes without saying much the battle lines have been drawn. Need we say more? It’s clear we will not be working from the 26th as we will not be having money for transport.
“We know they gave doctors some money for transport earlier on in the year. We will also be classified as bad debtors from many service providers. Surely it's time to fight this monster. We find it quite disturbing that gvt (government) was not honest to divulge this painful reality in an NJNC (National Joint Negotiating Council) meeting … It simply shows all was being done in bad faith. Word going around is saying the usual sellout unions were informed of this development a while ago. This time we must not allow anyone to betray our struggle.”
There was no immediate reaction from the government on teachers’ plans to down tools over delayed monthly payments. The government is citing low revenue inflows into the national fiscus as a reason for staggering pay dates for civil servants.
The public wage bill gobbles 80 percent of the country’s national revenues.
Observers say the government is failing to generate adequate financial resources due to subdued production in various sectors, low foreign direct investment and the current tense political situation in Zimbabwe fueled by moves by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to introduce bond notes in an effort to boost exports.
Critics see this as a way of bringing back the defunct Zimbabwe dollar, which was abandoned in 2009 as a result of historic hyperinflation. The country is currently experiencing crippling cash shortages.