Salary hikes unsustainable, short-sighted — Chinamasa

via Salary hikes unsustainable, short-sighted — Chinamasa – DailyNews Live 27 January 2015

HARARE – Salary increments are “unsustainable and short-sighted” in a depressed economy like Zimbabwe’s, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said.

The country faces waning economic prospects, with its gross domestic product (GDP) expected to barely grow this year.

According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe’s GDP growth declined to 1,7 percent last year from 2013’s 3,2 percent.

“The state in which our economy is in is a sad one… therefore it does not even make sense for anyone to ask for a pay rise let alone threaten to strike over issues to do with remuneration,” the Treasury chief told a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) symposium last week.

“I know there are certain sectors threatening to strike over salary issues, may we please be reasonable, once the economy starts performing everyone can have their raise,” he said, adding that all employers, particularly government, could not afford salary increments.

His remarks come amid strike threats by civil servants, including teachers and doctors.

“I find this salary increment talk very disturbing. Is there a single person out there who does not know that the economy has not been performing? Employers simply cannot afford it, government cannot even afford this,” he said.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya added that the state of Zimbabwe’s economy does not warrant any salary increases in whatever sector.

“This economy cannot afford any salary increases, there is not a single sector performing well enough to afford this privilege,” the former CBZ Financial Holdings chief executive said.

Civil servants in Zimbabwe are among the lowest paid in the region, a scenario which has resulted in a massive brain drain with most of them leaving for greener pastures in neighbouring countries, and some to as far afield as New Zealand and Australia, among other countries abroad.

The country’s wage bill — expected to gobble 81 percent of government’s $4 billion 2015 budget — has been a major issue among calls for reforms, with Chinamasa moving to audit the civil service as recommended by the International Monetary Fund.

In his 2015 budget statement, he warned that recurrent expenditure will balloon in 2015, the bulk of it going towards salaries’ of 235 000-plus workforce.

The civil service audit, and consequent retrenchments, come on the back the Zanu PF government’s ambitious economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation — popularly known as ZimAsset — which committed to create 2,2 million jobs.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    Blessing 7 years ago

    So please start by reducing all ministers salaries by at least a half or even better reduce the cabinet by at least a third!As we have too many under performing ministers who are responsible for the mess we find ourselves in.

  • comment-avatar
    masvukupete 7 years ago

    But Biti was “REFUSING” to give the increment. Imi ve Zanu ndimi musiri kunyima ka?

  • comment-avatar
    Kilimanjaro 7 years ago

    kkkkk some poor civil servants were duped into “voting” for zanu on the basis of an increased salary. Biti was accused of kusunga play. But at least you were getting your slaries on time. Now you will probably get salary cuts and major retrenchments! ZANU chiororo!

  • comment-avatar
    Tight Rope 7 years ago

    Aizve!So,mr Chinamasa,to you it is a right to fail?The question here is not for workers to pity with you on the poor state of the economy.Are you forcing people to share your failures?Fix the economy,thus your duty and you said you can do it.But I think deep inside,you know very well you will not be able to fix it.How can people wait for an economy to improve when they know pretty well that you won’t be able to improve it?