10-16-19 by Spotlight Zimbabwe

‘Civil disobedience’ warning as Zim government workers don’t get paid


Lenin Ndebele

Government workers in Zimbabwe say they are “incapacitated”, as their October salaries trickle in.

The first to get their salaries were the uniformed forces, followed by health workers on a go-slow, with doctors already on strike.

A basic middle-management nurse or army captain takes home an average of ZWL$1,500 (US$90, about R1,340) at the bank rate.

In a letter addressed to the ministry of labour and social welfare, the Apex Council – an umbrella body for all unions – said the government “continues to ignore the workers’ position paper”, which demands a review of salaries in hard currency (US dollars).

A fortnight ago, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) hiked its electricity tariffs by 400%, which are now benchmarked to the US dollar.

The Apex Council has argued that salaries should also be pegged to the US dollar, for workers to be able to afford basic provisions.

This week nurses sought an audience with their bosses and pleaded for a two-day working week – down from three – because they cannot sustain going to work. They have been advised by the council not to borrow money to go to work.

The council told the government that the go-slow by workers is not necessarily a strike, but rather an “incapacitation”.

Analysts say that if the government ignores growing discontent from its workers, it could degenerate into “acts of civil disobedience” as a result of widespread poverty.

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  • Zanu PF will never admit that it has no clue what to do to fix the country’s economic meltdown and we, the people, cannot remove the party from office because it rigs elections. After 39 years of economic meltdown that has seen unemployment soaring to dizzying height of 90% there is no doubt the situation cannot continue.

    The people of Zimbabwe must now stand up and demand change or the country will slid into the abyss!

  • Akunyevera ndewako. Beware, the ides of March!!!