Fire ministers , civil servants tell
Chinamasa
Restive civil servants who meet government today
to discuss its new measures which include
retrenching 25 000 workers, say they are
prepared to accept its position if it cuts
ministries and off-load luxury cars being driven
by the ministers.
Civil servants umbrella body — the Apex Council
— meets with government to discuss the raft of
measures announced last week by Finance
minister Patrick Chinamasa.
The meeting comes at a time emotions are
running high among government workers and
ordinary Zimbabweans who are reeling from the
current economic meltdown.
“We will probably listen to them only after
Chinamasa surrenders his Mercedes Benz and
start driving a Honda Fit, have his salary and
allowances cut and various useless ministries
disbanded,” said Zimbabwe Teachers Association
(Zimta) chief executive Sifiso Ndlovu.
“Otherwise, we will not accept a situation where
government, in its lack of wisdom, can think
about us and act on our behalf without
consultation.”
Presenting his mid-term fiscal policy statement
last week, Chinamasa scrapped bonuses for all
government workers as part of a raft of
measures which include taxing civil servants’
allowances and cutting salaries of senior
officials.
He also announced that government will retrench
25 000 workers as part of austerity measures
which have raised the ire of civil servants.
The emergency measures were announced as civil
service salaries and bonuses have been gobbling
virtually the whole national budget, worsening
the country’s deepening liquidity and cash
shortages.
“The battlefield has been laid and government has
already fired the first shot but we are prepared
to respond to fire with fire. We will also pull the
trigger because the time has come to show this
government that they do not own this country,”
said Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
(PTUZ) secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe.
“We will not allow any reduction of our salaries
that are already far below the poverty datum line
and allowances to be reduced in any direction. We
have had enough of their bullying.”
The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA)
in a statement described government’s “one-
size-fits-all” approach in their civil service
reform bid as not only shocking but a health time
bomb.
“The proposed review which entails a blanket
salary cuts, freeze on end of year bonuses, mass
retrenchments amongst a plethora of other
retrogressive and unfair labour practices will
undoubtedly immerse the health sector into
turmoil as characterised by very low levels of
motivation and reduced health worker to patient
ratio, thus compromising efficiency and quality of
care in the health sector,” read part of ZHDA’s
statement.