The civil servants’ umbrella body, the Apex Council, has said it is confident that its appeal to President Robert Mugabe “will produce feedback soon, whether negative or positive”.
In an interview with NewsDay on Thursday, Apex Council president Tendai Chikowore said Mugabe always responds when people appeal to him.
“I am very hopeful about our appeal to the President because in the past when people appeal to his office, they get a response, whether positive or negative,” she said. “We have sent a letter to his office which has been already publicised and we are now looking forward to getting a response from the President.” The letter reads in part: “We, the Civil Service Apex Council, are writing to you because we are trusting in your unequivocal stance regarding the welfare of the civil servants, particularly on the issue of remuneration.”
Chikowore said they hoped the President would have responded by July 1.
“The ideal situation will be that we get a response from the President’s Office before July 1,” she said. “We have been and will continue engaging the chairman of the National Joint Negotiation Council and we want this to be concluded soon because civil servants are already frustrated.”
Chikowore said the civil servants had engaged Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over the issue of salaries but to no avail.
After a series of meetings with its employees, government awarded them increases ranging between $43 and $58, which would see the lowest-paid worker getting $296 per month. The Apex Council recently said Mugabe’s apology for civil servants’ poor salaries without measures in place to increase their wages was not enough.
Mugabe, in his Independence Day speech, apologised to teachers for the government’s failure to adjust civil servants’ salaries.