THE GOVERNMENT is gradually addressing the conditions of service of civil servants and is now paying salaries amounting to 75 percent of the cost of living and poverty datum line for those in the security sector, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said addressing welfare concerns for civil servants cannot be achieved at once but Government remains committed to improving their quality of life.
President Mnangagwa recently told teachers that he was touched by the plight of civil servants and Government remains firmly committed towards improving their welfare. The President instructed Cabinet ministers to work on non-monetary benefits for civil servants as Government balances between providing sufficient wages to employees and arresting inflation.
Responding to Zanu PF Magunje Constituency National Assembly member Cde Cecil Kashiri who had quizzed him on how Treasury was supporting Zimbabwe Republic Police operations last Wednesday, Prof Ncube said Government has made progress in terms of improving welfare of civil servants.
Cde Kashiri said it was worrying that police were sometimes failing to attend to crime scenes due to lack of resources including fuel.
“Coming to the issue of working conditions, emoluments, salaries; again on the security cluster, we have been able to try to keep within at least 75 percent of the cost of living level and poverty datum line. It is never easy.
“We always have budget constraints but we have tried to keep to that level so that at the moment, a Constable is on a salary of just about $33 000.
“I think we have gone a long way in trying to upgrade the level of salaries and we will continue to do that,” said Prof Ncube.
“On the issue of uniforms, boots and so forth; again we have done a lot in the last two years in making sure they can acquire material.
“They do have their own shops or other facilities where they can sew up their uniforms but the idea is to support them with material and we are doing that. I think over time; you will see an improvement in the situation.
“This is not a one-year issue but a multi-year programme of improvement of the quality of support to the police services and their own services to the community.”
He said Treasury has instructed the Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Ministry to draw a bill of quantities that is needed to transform Zimbabwe Republic Police into a modern policing unit.
Prof Ncube said Government will soon procure drones which will aid police in border patrols.
“I have asked my officials to interlocute with their colleagues in Home Affairs and the Police so that we can get a list of this equipment that they need and the budget required so that we can deal with it. I know one of the foremost things had been the issue of drones for example, for policing borders and other places and the speed traps which he has referred to and other vehicles for catching those who are over speeding. They know their equipment and I cannot summarise it for them. So, we are just waiting for that list and we will be able to support them in this regard,” said Prof Ncube.