THE embattled Zanu PF government this week awarded a 100% salary increment to civil servants in a bid to win their support ahead of the presidential election run-off on June 27.
The increment came barely a week after government hiked civil servantsâ€™ salaries by 1 047% backdated to May 1.
Sources in the public sector told the Zimbabwe Independent that after the salary adjustments, the majority of civil servants would be earning well above $100 billion.
“We got a cirular last week informing us of a 1 047% salary hike backdated to May 1 and another 100% salary increment effective June 1,” one of the sources said.
A member of the Apex Council â€” a salary negotiating body of all public service organs â€” Tendai Chikowore, confirmed that civil servants were awarded an increment, but declined to reveal figures to the Independent.
“I donâ€™t think itâ€™s proper for me to discuss salaries of our members with media,” Chikowero said. “Salaries should be confidential.”
The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), a member of the Apex Council, confirmed the salary increment.
PTUZ national coordinator Oswald Madziva said: “I can confirm that civil servants were awarded a substantial salary hike.”
Madziva could not disclose specific figures, but admitted that the hike was reasonable.
“Civil servants got a salary increment backdated to May 1 and another one effective June 1,” he said. “It is a reasonable hike, but I canâ€™t give you the figures.”
After the latest increment, teachers who last week earned salaries ranging from $50 billion to $60 billion, will this month earn between $100 billion and $130 billion.
Last month nurses reportedly got $50 billion while soldiers grossed $65 billion. Their salaries would be doubled this month.
Prior to the March 29 harmonised elections, government awarded hefty salary increments to soldiers and members of the civil service.
The government reportedly secured the money to dole out to uniformed forces and the civil service from the Reserve Bank, which by March 1 had loaned the state over $1,6 quadrillion to meet its recurrent expenditure and other obligations.
By Lucia Makamure