HomeLocal NewsMoyo takes aim at Chinamasa

Moyo takes aim at Chinamasa


HIGHER and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo this week came short of accusing his Finance counterpart Patrick Chinamasa of a sinister plot to foment anarchy at State universities after reducing his budget by half.


In an angry statement signed by ministry permanent secretary, Machivenyika Mapuranga this week, Moyo said Chinamasa had reneged on his undertaking that the 2016 wage bill would spill into 2017 without adjustments. The statement said staff at universities had reacted angrily to the proposed salary cuts.

“Key players have been alarmed by this decision taken by the ministry of Finance, which, according to the staff association, had given assurance that the 2017 wage bill was to be based on the October 2016 salary bill, meaning that the 2017 salary bill would remain at the 2016 levels and the staff association formally communicated this position to staff of all State universities,” the statement read.

While indicating that a salary cut would be viewed as unfair labour practice, the workers had according to the ministry demanded a reversal of the move.

“They unreservedly expressed their position that the salary budget should be reversed to 100% with immediate
effect. Members categorically stated

that State universities are not able and have no capacity to pay for the other 50% towards employment costs,” the statement said.

Early this week, NewsDay Weekender was inundated with calls from universities across the country confirming government had officially communicated its intention to slash salaries, but Mapuranga shot down the claims when contacted for comment.

“I met with nine vice-chancellors this morning and they did not tell me anything of that sort. There is nothing like that,” he said on Tuesday before releasing the stinging statement.

Moyo’s ministry seems to have ganged up with workers against Chinamasa.

“The ministry and vice-chancellors agreed that there appears to be a shocking lack of appreciation by Treasury on the strategic role universities play in the socio-economic development of the nation and universities are operating in the same harsh economic environment like any other sector,” Mapuranga said.

“The majority of the students who enrol at local universities and tertiary institutions are from poor families and Treasury continues to ignore this reality.”

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