By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
12 February 2014
The government has once again failed to honour its promises to civil servants, and moved the date for salary increments to the end of April.
Civil servants representatives told SW Radio Africa Wednesday that the government has admitted that it has no money to fulfill its promises. The situation was revealed by finance and public service ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche in a meeting with civil servants leaders on Tuesday.
According to a deal they struck with the government, civil servants were supposed to receive their February salaries, backdated to January. The deal which was struck last month was expected to see the lowest paid person getting three quarters of the Poverty Datum Line, which was set on $505. Another review was due mid-2014.
But David Dzatsunga of the College Lecturers Association confirmed that in Tuesday’s meeting Chinamasa and Goche said the government has not found the money to increase the salaries.
Dzatsunga said the civil servants were currently consulting among themselves and a decision will be taken ‘soon’ on the government’s latest promise. Dzatsunga said: ‘The people are angry and they are asking themselves questions as to whether the government will not once again renege on its promises.’
Government’s failure to full fill its promises raises questions about President Mugabe’s sincerity. Ahead of the July 31st election Mugabe and his ZANU PF party routinely promised to improve the salaries of civil servants once elected into power.
This development comes at a time when public anger is high following revelations that some senior executives, including Mugabe’s aides, were looting public institutions. Some executives have been shown to be earning as much as half a million dollars a month, a sum which could pay over 1,500 civil servants who take home about $300.