Aggrieved civil servants have resolved to approach President Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) over poor remuneration and rising cost of living, amid revelations the Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima has failed to address their concerns.
Apex Council secretary, David Dzatsunga told Business Times that engagements with Mavima have failed to bring long-lasting solutions.
“We have engaged Minister Mavima over Zimbabwe dollar salary which has been reduced to nothing. But he seemed to ignore our calls hence we will escalate the case to the President over the obvious and urgent matter of the cost of living adjustment,” Dzatsunga said.
He said government workers were incapacitated.
“We wrote a letter to [minister] Mavima calling for an urgent meeting with him following the incapacitation of the workers. We told the minister that government workers can’t continue to come every day due to incapacitation hence there is a need for an urgent meeting to address that,” Dzatsunga said, adding that, “Things are really hard for the workers in general with most failing to put basic food and necessities for their families on the table”.
The least paid government workers are now earning around ZWL$200 000 and a US$250 allowance.
But the civil servants said the Zimbabwe dollar component, which is subject to deductions on loans and others, had been reduced to nothing with the rampant inflation and exchange rate.
“To be frank, we no longer have the Zimbabwe dollar salary as it has already been wiped by inflation before it comes. We are struggling to make ends meet but we are working. We are in the deep, real deep end,” Dzatsunga said.
Dzatsunga said the civil servants want a 100% increase for their United States dollar salaries as there was no point in the continuous dialogue on the ZWL$ which is depreciating daily.
It is understood that the government was reluctant to meet the workers’ demands.
Government workers argued that US$ has also depreciated over the years and the 2018 salary no longer matches the rising cost of living.
The cost of living for a family of six is now over ZWL$600 000 per month.