No money to pay civil servants: Mugabe PDF Print E-mail

Adopted from the Dailynews : 21 February 2012

 

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe says there is no money to pay civil servants their full salary demands.

 

 

Mugabe responded to a strike threat by teachers’ unions early last year by stating that the government had made enough money from Marange diamond mining to meet the demands.

  

 

Government has a 50 percent stake in all four firms mining stones in Marange fields, touted as one of the largest finds of alluvial diamond land in recent history.

 

However, the promised increase turned out to be a paltry $31 each, with another promise of a review in 2012.

 

In an interview with state media, Mugabe poured cold water on civil servants’ hope for salary increases.

 

“Well, sure, we don't have adequate resources to meet the demands of civil servants in full. But we have resources to meet, materially, and this is what he should have said,” he said in response to a question on the welfare of civil servants.

 

Government’s wages are currently taking 70 percent of the country’s revenue.

 

Finance minister Tendai Biti earlier told Parliament that revenue inflows for January 2012 amounted to $168 million, accruing a $34 million deficit. Of this amount, $117.6 million was spent on salaries, pension and medical aid.

 

After going on strike this year, government workers were offered a $240 million blanket from government to cover 230,000 employees.

 

This meant they would each receive a maximum $87 monthly increase, far less than their demand for the basic salary to rise from $200 to $538 a month.

 

Mugabe and his Zanu PF have been on record insisting on a wage rise for government employees, saying the increment would be bankrolled by the country’s newly found diamond wealth.

 

The party has been putting pressure on Biti to prepare a supplementary budget to fund increased salaries for civil servants.

 

Biti and most economists have agreed that the country simply does not have the means to boost admittedly low civil service wages. Biti says most diamond money is not coming to treasury.


 

 

 

 

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