By Dylan Murambgi
Harare, October 20, 2016 – CIVIL servants salaries will be delayed for the umpteenth time this month, casting further doubt over government’s capabilities to remunerate its bloated workforce.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister, Prisca Mupfumira announced Wednesday that the majority of civil servants will receive their October salaries in November, a sign that government was struggling to keep traditional dates to pay wages.
As usual, the army and airforce, who have been the last line of defence for President Robert Mugabe’s embattled government, will be first to receive their salaries on Friday while the health sector shall get theirs October 25.
Members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police who have repelled fierce demonstrations, which could have easily spiralled into fully fledged rebellion against the current government, will be paid October 28.
They will be paid at the same time with the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
Teachers, who have been the most vocal lot among Zimbabwe’s broader civil service, will receive their pays November 3.
“The rest of the civil service will be paid on November 8 and pensioners will follow on November 11. Grant-aided institutions are the last to be paid on November 15,” Mupfumira said, adding that the government was finding it tough to pay its workforce on time.
“At the moment, the revenue collections are not allowing such a situation but it is our hope that in the coming month things will be back to normal,” she said.
Continued delays in salary payments have riled civil servants groups with the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) saying this was not inspiring.
“…Once again we are being paid in the other month. We demand salaries in the month we have worked. It’s clear we are not going to get our December salaries before Xmas,” said PTUZ in a Facebook posting on Wednesday.
“We demand that Apex is awake to this reality and must react urgently to protect the suffering workers.”
PTUZ was not pleased government put members of the security organs ahead of the rest.
“This is not inspiring at all. Why are they sticking to their favorite sons and daughters ahead of all of us. THE BONUS DUE TO US IS STILL NOT UP FOR DISCUSSION.WE WONDER WHY?”
The government has this year struggled to pay its workforce whose salaries now gobble nearly 97 percent of the national purse.
In efforts to trim the giant wage bill, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa proposed last month to retrench 25 000 and further suspend bonus payments for 2016 and 2017 but this was short down by President Mugabe.