Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe unions call for protest over pay

2012-07-20 12:03
<a href=\\\\\\\\http://www.shutterstock.com\\\\\\\\>Shuttertstock</a>

Shuttertstock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Zim opposition in anti-Mugabe coalition talks
Zim opposition in anti-Mugabe coalition talks

Zimbabwe's opposition is talking up an anti-Robert Mugabe coalition for the 2018 elections but differences over strategies and implementation are threatening the establishment of such an electoral alliance.

Harare - Zimbabwean unions on Friday called on civil servants to protest next week to demand a near doubling of basic wages, after the finance minister ruled out any increases due to budget cuts.

"We are calling for a mass demonstration by all civil servants in Harare on Tuesday," Tendai Chikowore, spokesperson for the state employees' umbrella union, told AFP.

"We are demonstrating against the government. The grievances are long-standing. We want a review of our basic salaries, rural allowances, transport and housing allowances."

Chikowore said the workers want across-the-board pay rises, including a raise from $286 to $560 a month for the lowest-paid government workers.

"The basic salary was not reviewed in January and we thought the government in its wisdom would be sensitive and make provision for an increase in our basic salaries in the budget," she said.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti ruled out any wage hikes for this year when he presented the mid-term budget on Wednesday, saying lower-than-expected revenues had forced the government to trim its spending from the planned $4bnto $3.6bn.

"Indeed, even in the absence of such [salary] reviews, government faces the real danger of defaulting on salary payment," he said on Wednesday.

"Hence, we need not take the current monthly payments for granted but seriously appreciate the limited fiscal space for wage adjustments."

Ghost workers

Biti also blamed the budget crunch on overspending on foreign travel, and said the government had taken on 10 000 new employees without following proper hiring procedures.

About one-third of the government's 230 000 employees were already believed to be "ghost workers" - fictitious names that allow others to receive salaries fraudulently, according to Biti.

After a decade-long crisis, Zimbabwe's economy has begun recovering following a power-sharing agreement between long-time rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the wake of failed 2008 polls.

But the recovery remains fragile. The government has lowered its growth forecast for the year from 9.4% to 5.6%, Biti said on Wednesday.

Mugabe has accused Biti, a Tsvangirai ally, of deliberately sabotaging the government by refusing any salary increases.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  tendai biti  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.