By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
1 April 2014
The cash strapped ruling ZANU PF government has finally managed to pay all civil servants their March salaries.
Since the election last year President Robert Mugabe’s government has struggled to raise the$155 million for its monthly wage bill for the over 230,000 civil servants, amid reports the treasury is relying on handouts from donors.
Cash constraints have dogged the state payroll over the last three months, resulting in the Ministry of Finance last month changing pay dates for civil servants from the 21st of March to the 27th, citing inadequate finances.
Dr Takavavira Zhou, President of the Progress Teachers Union, said as of Monday government had dispensed salary schedules of civil servants to their banks.
But some of the banks are failing to provide cash for their customers because of the liquidity crisis in the country.
‘There are some civil servants who told me they’ve been unable to withdraw their salaries because the banks are short of funds. This has affected most rural based teachers who travel to urban areas to get money from their banks and are stranded as a result,’ Zhou said.
Zhou said there is also a disturbing pattern that has emerged where the government was failing to remit contributions by teachers to their unions, like the PTUZ. This situation is crippling operations of most civil servants unions according to Zhou.
‘What is happening is that government, through the SSB facility (Salary Services Bureau) is deducting money from our members but is failing to remit that money to the union. We are a bit apprehensive as to why government is doing this because we suspect it might be a plot to weaken our operations,’ claimed Zhou.