President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the salaries of the civil servants are low and his administration is exploring ways to improve the welfare of government employees.
In a letter dated June 2, 2021 to ZIMTA CEO Sifiso Ndlovu, Mnangagwa said he had directed Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima to explore modalities on how the condition of service and welfare of government workers can be improved.
ZIMTA had written to President Mnangagwa in a letter dated April 26, 2021 expressing their displeasure on the current remuneration given to teachers.
“I would like to put it on record that the government acknowledges that the level of remuneration currently being given to teachers and other civil servants is inadequate and is not what the government would wish to pay its workers under ideal circumstances. For that reason, the government will continue to explore ways to improve the welfare of the generality of civil servants including teachers,” Mnangagwa said.
“You may however note that the government introduced policy measures to correct the inflationary tendencies that were wreaking havoc in the retail and transport sectors. Resultantly, government interventions have seen inflation go down significantly, resulting in the growing high hope that the trend will continue going forward.”
Mnangagwa said the challenges being faced by civil servants were perpetuated by the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in depressed revenue inflows, mainly due to lockdown measures. These lockdowns, though painful, were necessary in order to save lives and contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, he said.
He said the improvement of salaries and other conditions of service should be looked at as a process and not a once off event and should be guided by the budgetary framework.
Mnangagwa said consideration should also be given to the fact that there is a need to balance employment costs and other priorities for the economy so as to facilitate the growth of the economy. These include infrastructure development, agricultural production, health, water, energy and social protection programmes.
He said the government continues to explore other non-monetary benefits for civil servants in order to complement salaries and these will target basic necessities of life.
“I have further directed that there are compelling reasons to adjust teachers’ salaries as much as the government can possibly manage.
“Decision thereafter will be communicated through the proper platforms in order to determine conditions of service in the public service,” Mnangagwa said.