Civil ser­vants start get­ting salaries

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Reporter

SOL­DIERS re­ceived their July salaries yes­ter­day, as the Govern­ment started pay­ing its work­ers’ salaries for this month.

In in­ter­views, sol­diers con­firmed that the Govern­ment had hon­oured its prom­ise to pay them.

“We re­ceived our salaries to­day and we’re happy that the Govern­ment hon­oured its prom­ise. We hope that ef­forts are be­ing made to en­sure that our salaries are paid on time ev­ery month,” said a sol­dier who re­quested anonymity.

The Govern­ment re­leased the civil ser­vants’ pay dates for July last week.

Pub­lic Service, Labour and So­cial Wel­fare Min­is­ter Prisca Mup­fu­mira said the army and the Air­force of Zim­babwe would be paid yes­ter­day fol­lowed by the health sec­tor to­mor­row.

She said the Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice and the Zim­babwe Pris­ons and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices will be paid on July 29, fol­lowed by the education sec­tor on Au­gust 2.

The rest of the civil service, Min­is­ter Mup­fu­mira said, will get their salaries on Au­gust 6 while the pen­sion­ers will be paid on Au­gust 12.

Work­ers at grant-aided in­sti­tu­tions will re­ceive their July salaries as well as their 2015 bonuses on Au­gust 16.

“I’m happy to be paid,” said another sol­dier, “but I’m un­happy about the con­tin­u­ing cash short­age. My bank is giv­ing only $100 to­day. What can a fam­ily man do with $100?”

Govern­ment nor­mally pays its work­force be­gin­ning mid-month but has of late been forced to break the tra­di­tion ow­ing to rev­enue chal­lenges.

Last month, the em­ployer man­aged to pay the uni­formed forces their June salaries within that month but pushed the dues for teach­ers and nurses to July 7 and 8, re­spec­tively.

Govern­ment of­fered the work­ers a $100 ad­vance pay­ment to al­low them to travel to and from work while they waited for their salaries.

The move saw teach­ers and nurses call­ing for a three­day strike, which they im­me­di­ately called off af­ter Govern­ment hon­oured its obli­ga­tion.

The work­ers ar­gued the $100 was not enough as they had other obli­ga­tions like rentals and bank loans to set­tle.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe re­cently ap­pealed to civil ser­vants to be pa­tient, say­ing the coun­try was faced with an ar­ray of chal­lenges that in­clude il­le­gal sanc­tions, drought as well as the use of the multi-cur­rency sys­tem, mainly the US dol­lar that the coun­try had lit­tle con­trol over.

He said Govern­ment would strive to en­sure that the prob­lem of de­lays in salary pay­ments was ad­dressed.

Govern­ment is di­rect­ing nearly $200 mil­lion ev­ery month to­wards salaries, a de­vel­op­ment that is un­sus­tain­able.

To rec­tify the chal­lenge, the civil service is be­ing ra­tio­nalised with changes be­ing im­ple­mented ex­pected to save $400 mil­lion yearly.

VP Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa

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