BY FARAI MATIASHE
Civil servants representatives yesterday demonstrated in Harare and handed over a petition to the government demanding a restoration of their salary to at least the equivalent of US$475 using the interbank rate.
At the prevailing rate, the civil servants said they should be paid around ZW$4 750.
The Apex Councils for civil servants and health services marched from their offices to Kaguvi Building and then New Government Complex where their leaders were
denied entry by security guards.
They wanted to hand over their petition to Labour minister Sekai Nzenza, but later handed it over to her deputy Lovemore Matuke who came outside to listen to
Apex Council chair Cecilia Alexander told Matuke that civil servants were now incapacitated.
“We want our salaries to be paid equivalent to the interbank rate. The government should listen to us,” she said.
In their petition, the civil servants said they were not demanding a salary increment, but rather restoration of the value of their earnings which fell from
around US$475 to a mere US$47 currently for the lowest paid civil servant.
“In arriving at the figure for a cost of living adjustment, the interbank rate must apply, benchmarked against the pre-October 2018 average US$475 salary for
the lowest paid civil servant. This will, therefore, mean that the lowest paid worker should earn ZW$4 750 to restore the value of their earnings,” the
The petition said the current reforms by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, which birthed the abandonment of the multi-currency regime, should not erode the
purchasing value of salaries which should remain at US$475 for the lowest paid civil servant premised on the interbank rate.
“The two Apex Councils, hereby, reiterate that the current salaries of at least US$4 000 (interbank) have resulted in the incapacitation of workers and the
failure by government to restore the value of salaries will leave the two Apex councils with no choice but to declare incapacitation,” the petition read.
Matuke said the grievances which were being raised by civil servants were genuine and needed urgent attention.
“We have received this petition from the civil servants. This is a serious issue which needs to be attended to. I know negotiations are in progress. I am going
to hand over the petition to the relevant authorities so that the issues are addressed. We welcome the decision by the civil servants to do a peaceful
demonstration and I hope everything will be handled in the rightful manner,” he said.
The Apex Council has been demanding meaningful dialogue, but government representatives have been postponing the meetings including the one which was slated
for Monday where they did not turn up.