FINANCE minister Herbert Murerwa yesterday said he was dishing out $3,18 trillion to the Public Service Commission (PSC) to appease disgruntled civil servants who are leaving the country in s
earch of greener pastures overseas.
In his 2004 budget presentation, Murerwa said government was worried about the current “brain drain”.
More than a million Zimbabweans have left the country for South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and other destinations where the economic situation is better.
Professionals such as doctors and nurses, teachers, and pilots have left in search of foreign currency paying jobs in the diaspora.
“The brain drain is worrying and skilled workers are leaving the country because of our high inflation,” Murerwa said. “This has dislocated most of our services. I am therefore setting aside $3,18 trillion for wages and salaries.”
The country’s hyperinflationary environment has resulted in skyrocketing prices for goods and services resulting in suffering for the population.
Inflation has shot to 525,8% for October, up from 455,6% in September.
Murerwa blamed inflation for virtually everything he touched on in his budget statement.
“Mr Speaker Sir, the brain drain has become an important policy challenge both in government and the private sector,” he said. “It is also pertinent to note that the country is not reaping dividends from the massive investment in human capital which the government made since Independence, as professionals and skilled workers emigrate to other countries in search of greener pastures. In addition, the high levels of inflation have seriously eroded civil service wages and frequent strikes, particularly in the health sector, have dislocated service delivery.”
He said he hoped the $3,18 trillion for the civil service would go a long way in alleviating the plight of the civil servants who have been accustomed to engaging in regular industrial action countrywide.