CIVIL servants have described the announcement Wednesday by the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa to review upwards their salaries and allowances as cheap politicking and downright dishonesty, Zim Morning Post has heard.
In a statement issued late yesterday (Wednesday), the Government of Zimbabwe said it would (with immediate effect) review by 50 percent the salaries of all civil servants, including paying US$75 and US$30 COVID-19 allowances to its workers and all pensioners who are on its pay roll in order to mitigate the suffering occasioned by a comatose economy.
Members of the Zimbabwe National Army who have already received this month’s salaries told Zim Morning Post that the average differential net salaries of those on the lower rung between May and June was upwards of ZWL400.
The differential salaries figure comes in the wake of government completing its obligation to pay civil servants their back pays which had been spread over four months last month.
Clarifying on the salaries reviews, Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba, was on Twitter Wednesday saying the US$75 and US$30 COVID-19 allowances awarded to civil servants and government pensioners would not come as hard currency.
“Forex allowance for civil servants: Just small clarification lest there is misconception:
The US$75 allowance is flat across all grades.
“The US$75 will not come in notes form; it will be a purchasing electronic card to ensure this enhanced buying power does not feed the WHITE MARKET and allows money to circulate within the formal monetary system.
“So, do not expect cash disbursements.
“Imagine what upward of US$25m monthly cash disbursement would do to the WHITE MARKET!” Charamba said.
But civil servants representative bodies have been unanimous in their rejection of the government salaries and allowances increments, describing them as pathetic.
“The COVID-19 US$75 allowance (which can be terminated at any time) is a drop in the ocean.
“Look at the current official interbank rate that stands at 1:25.
“What it means is that the US$75 converts to ZWL1 875, which is only able to purchase about 13 packets of 2kg brown sugar.
“This is a mockery!” said a civil servants union official who did not want to be named.
Permutations done by Zim Morning Post revealed that an ordinary teacher would eventually receive ZWL5 900, only equivalent to about four cartoons of 2kg brown sugar per month.