Zimbabwe News

Zimbabwean civil servants disillusioned by broken promises

Civil servants have accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of having zero interest in fulfilling the promises it made to its workers.

Government employees have seen their earnings fall since the November 2017 military coup that initially brought Mnangagwa to power after the then-president, Robert Mugabe was forced to resign.

Civil servants currently earn about US$320, before taxes and bank charges, in addition to around ZiG2 000, per month.

Government chief negotiator in the salary negotiations Nobert Machinjike told NewsDay that the employer would continue engaging workers to improve their earnings and non-monetary benefits. He said:

We have all committed to continuous engagement with the workers and I am happy that we have come up with a hardened remuneration framework for the earnings.

It is also important that we agree with the workers that our remuneration framework is also competitive in the region but we are working together to identify key issues that will see the government employees getting satisfactory earnings.

However, David Dzatsunga, the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU), formerly Civil Service Apex Council, on Monday told NewsDay that the government has failed to honour its promises. Said Dzatsunga:

We have seen that there is no interest by the government in addressing our issues. We have heard that the government wants to install solar panels for civil servants at their homes in 2022 but that never happened.

There is also an issue of hierarchy, those civil servants at a lower rank have never benefited at all. Then there is this issue of housing where we think the government can provide land or a facility that can allow civil servants to have their own houses. But this also has not happened.

Medical and Dental Private Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe president Johannes Marisa said:

There is poor infrastructure and we implore the government to improve the conditions of health workers. Health workers do not have proper accommodation or decent means of transport; they need vehicles…

We were supposed to have gone on strike early this month because of our poor wages but we were later told by the Zimbabwe Nurses Association that the government has blocked the strike and we feel let down given the nature of our job. We think we should be getting fair salaries.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Obert Masaraure said Mnangagwa’s government is worse than Rhodesia and Mugabe combined. Said Masaraure:

The government of Zimbabwe under Emmerson Mnangagwa is worse than Rhodesia and Mugabe combined. The militarised government is deploying command tactics in handling labour disputes.

The Constitution in Section 65 provides for the right to a fair wage and the right to engage in job action. These rights can’t be withdrawn by some individuals who just have a five-year mandate.

The Government has previously enforced a “no work, no pay” policy for civil servants who participate in demonstrations or stay-aways.

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