State rips off civil servants - Zimbabwe Situation

State rips off civil servants

via State rips off civil servants – DailyNews Live by Mugove Tafirenyika and Lloyd Mbiba  6 MARCH 2014

The cash-strapped Zimbabwe government is failing to remit money deducted from civil servants’ salaries for credit facilities, straining relations between the State and its workers.

As a result, civil servants have hit a bad patch with creditors, with some attaching the government workers’ properties and mulling legal action over unpaid dues, which government has defaulted on despite effecting deductions as reflected on their salary advice slips.

Owing to low salaries that are far below the poverty datum line, most civil servants cannot afford to buy basics such as clothing, furniture and electric gadgets on cash and rely on credit facilities from service providers such as TV Sales and Home, Edgars and other retail outlets.

The government employees also pay their monthly trade union subscriptions as well as servicing their bank loans using the same method, but say government is not remitting the deducted cash amid a tightening liquidity crunch.

Their monthly instalments are being deducted by government via the Salary Services Bureau (SSB), but are not being transmitted to the service providers, the Daily News has learnt.

Patrick Chinamasa, the Finance minister, confirmed the development but down-played it as “an operational matter”, referring questions to Willard Manungo, the Public Service permanent secretary, who was unreachable yesterday.

Public Service minister Nicholas Goche referred us back to Chinamasa.

“I think that has to be answered by the minister of Finance because it is not my responsibility as a Public Service minister,” Goche told the Daily News yesterday.

Sifiso Ndlovu, Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief FROM P1

executive officer, said their bank record showed that government deposited money on February 28 as union dues deducted from the 230 000-strong civil service, for just 30 minutes, but the cash was somehow recalled.

“The government has not been remitting money that it deducts from civil servants salaries to the service providers,” Ndlovu told the Daily News.

“The amount runs into several millions and we are shocked as to why the government is doing this.

“Even us, as the unions, we are not getting anything and yet the government deducts union subscriptions fees from the civil servants’ salaries.

“We are worried that the same government that is failing to increase salaries is trying to sabotage unions by withholding our money.”

He said his organisation had sought an explanation from government without success.

Tendai Biti, former Finance minister, recently told a news conference that government was creating a “debt crisis”.

“Those of you who have relatives who are civil servants, which is all of us, know what I am talking about,” Biti said in his alternative state of the economy address.

“I have a sekuru (uncle) who is a civil servant. He came to show me his pay slip and he earns $400.

“What they did with this month’s salary (January) was that my sekuru has deductions, stop orders.

One is for maintenance, the other one for Edgars, and the other one for a micro finance institution. His net salary is $100 out of $400. They only paid him $100.

But they stopped the stop orders, so they are creating a debt crisis. I am told they are trying to pay that, so they are really defaulting on salaries and if you fail to honour my stop orders it is me who has failed to pay.”

Biti warned that the crisis would spiral out of control, to an extent that government wouldeventually fail to pay civil servants.

In his budget statement, Chinamasa said the government wage bill was gobbling up an unsustainable 75 percent of government revenue. He said this needed to be reduced to

30 percent by 2018, but did not explain how he intended doing this.

As it is, government has failed to bankroll a $78 pay hike it forced civil servants to accept, with the State saying it has no cash  to fund the adjustment.

In his birthday interview, President Robert Mugabe gave Chinamasa an ultimatum to resign if he was not up to the task.

“And so we must have normal salaries. Yes, we cannot have them from day one, but we must have them on paper for a start and work towards their being fulfilled in practice.  And that Chinamasa is doing,” said Mugabe in the interview with the State broadcaster to mark his 90th birthday.

“At first he said we could not do it and I said, well if you can’t do it tell me, I will get someone to do it.”

Biti said government was in a catch-22 situation .

“So they are going to get into these increasing situations where they even fail to pay salaries,” he said.

“So what is their solution? They are not talking to anyone, there is no foreign direct investment, the supply side of the economy is dead, there is a liquidity crunch, they have to print money to monetise these deficits that they are creating.

“Whether they like it or not, the Zim dollar is coming back. Just as much as the US dollar came against their resolutions.”



  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 4 years

    The zim dollar is not coming back. If they try it will be dead on arrival and then the economy will be even worse. I would love to pay my taxes in worthless zim dollars.

    The only good advice is do not give credit to the government or civil servants. They made the problem. Let them taste it.

    • comment-avatar
      Zombi 4 years

      It is unfair to blame civil servants in general for this rot. Teachers… What have they done wrong? They are trying. I have a friend whose mom is a teacher and she’s such an innocent soul. Still trying to ensure her students do well. Hard working and committed

  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 4 years

    Can you hold the volcano down? Can you suppress it? The day of reckoning is near .Baffoonery, go on Chin Zanu will turn against its on.

  • comment-avatar
    zvichanaka 4 years

    The one problem Zanu Pf can never solve is the economy….it does not matter what they try to do, they are in no position to solve this problem. They can rule for as long as they like but the economy will bring them down! Mark my words.

    The reason I say this is because they are doing nothing to address this issue. Instead they are doing the opposite and buying time as if the problem does not exist,,,,burying their heads in the sand!

    A completely new regime is the answer.

  • comment-avatar

    This government will not take the steps needed to fix the problem which is why they are desperate for dialogue with the West. They want bailing out and once they perceive the sanctions issues are over they will push for funding. Problem is they are so used to theft and corruption what ever they are able to con the West for will disappear. Look east does not work as the Chinese will give a paltry sum with one hand and take 50 times the value with the other.

  • comment-avatar
    NBS 4 years

    Who hasn’t the Sate ripped off

  • comment-avatar
    Panda moyo 4 years

    Please tel mr chinamasa n all his peers that its not civil servants or even war vets who are gobbling the countrys earnings coz they earn very little.the problem is caused by his frends who hav farms by the dozen,overtaken industries they know nothing about,acquired gold and diamond mines,stands and even off shore pliz stop blaming civil servants for your mismanagement .for god s sake if ucant do your jobs go.civil servants ar doing their jobs