No joy for civil servants as Mthuli Ncube tells them he has no capacity to pay salaries in full US dollars; workers told to wait for September reviews

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By Anna Chibamu

CIVIL servants will have to wait for another month before finance minister Mthuli Ncube announces new salary figures.

During a meeting on Monday facilitated by labour minister Paul Mavima and attended by leaders of all public sector federations to deal with a number of conditions of service matters for government employees, Ncube promised to review the salaries next month.

He, sadly however, informed them that government had no capacity to pay their full salaries in US dollars.

“Government treats the welfare of civil servants as a priority but was unequivocal that it does not yet have the capacity to pay the entire salary bill in US dollar salaries.

“Government will however review the situation in September to see if there is scope to increase the US dollar and as well the Zimbabwe dollar components premised on revenue inflows,” Ncube said.

The workers are demanding a US dollar salary with a value equivalent to pre-October 2018 levels, implementation of agreed-to non-salary benefits, inclusion of workers in the governance of pension funds and the need for a universal medical allowance to all civil servants.

Ncube did not rule out the possibility of part US dollar salaries though but was cautious to commit himself on it.

On pension schemes, the minister consented with the workers on inclusivity and promised to look at the workers concerns of exclusion raised in the workers’ presentation.

The workers were able to demonstrate the desperate situation regards their survival and challenged the minister to find a plan to safeguard the value of wages so that they can be able to reproduce themselves for the good of country.

As way forward, Mavima begged workers to wait for September to see how far government will go towards meeting their expectations in terms of the cost of living.