Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said the government will only review civil servant salaries when it has fuller information on proceeds from the sale of diamonds from the controversial Marange field which is under tight military control.
Briefing journalists in Harare on Tuesday about the economic challenges facing Zimbabwe, Biti said state revenues have not met expectations. The Treasury brought in revenues at an annual rate of $2.4 billion from January through March, off the targeted annual rate of $2.7 billion. It paid out $250 million dollars in salaries in the period, he said.
Biti’s comments suggested that it is rather unlikely that the least-paid civil servants will get a pay increase in June as President Robert Mugabe promised in a meeting with representatives of public sector workers earlier this month.
Biti also said he does not see Zimbabwe holding elections this year as it does not have the $400 million requested by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to organize them.
Chairperson Tendai Chikowore of the Apex Council, which coordinates negotiations on behalf of teachers, administrators and other state workers, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that despite Biti’s comments, civil servants still expect a salary review in June.