Representatives of teachers’ unions and some teachers say bank deposits made by the government Monday indicate that there are unexplained salary deductions of more than $40 per person with some claiming that the state is trying to raise money for unpaid pensioners.
Dr. Takavafira Zhou of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and Sifiso Ndlovu, chief executive of the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association, told VOA Studio 7 Livetalk they have received complaints from hundreds of teachers about the salary deductions.
“There are lots and lots of deductions that are un-explainable. Teachers have told us that bank statements are indicating that there are deductions of $48 which is not explainable because there has been no engagements on the deductions be it pensions or whatever. So, teachers are not happy,” said Dr. Zhou.
Ndlovu added that government should do all it can to pay the salaries in order to avert a crisis. “This reminds us of 2008 (economic crisis), clearly there we got incapacitated to deliver services to the people.”
He noted that indications are that the government should work together so as to address the country’s serious economic problems. “Right now they don’t seem to be singing from the same hymn book.”
Some headmasters, including one who only identified himself as Emmanuel, said his salary deductions added up to $70 when in fact he normally has at least $15 or so dollars deducted from his pay every month.
He said some senior teachers informed him that their deductions ranged from $40 to $45 per person. Others noted that they had $35 deducted from their salaries each.
Zimbabwe failed to pay its civil servants on time due to the current harsh economic environment exacerbated by lack of foreign direct investment, inconsistent policies and other factors.
The country is also struggling to pay pensioners, who got their November pensions last week. It is not yet clear when they will be paid December pensions.