Home » Governance » Govt Efforts On Civil Servants Laudable [editorial]

Our civil servants have waited for salary increments for long and they should be saluted for being patient and law-abiding.

If it were in some other parts of the world, the unions could have called for strikes — actions that are often counterproductive when not weighed against social and economic realities — which would have really left a dent in our world-acclaimed education system.

We should commend the civil servants for listening to President Mugabe who, on several occasions, has reiterated that despite the sanctions and graft-induced challenges that Zimbabwe is facing, Government workers would at least receive something this year towards progressively matching the poverty datum line.

That level of patriotism should be emulated by the rest of the workforce in the other sectors of the economy. The present economic hardships are not peculiar to the public sector and we must all put our heads together and work harmoniously to move forward as a nation.

Government and civil servants unions agreed on a salary increment that would see the least paid worker earning US$375, which is three quarters of the poverty datum line pegged at US$505.

This new pay schedule is likely to see the majority of Government workers earning above poverty datum line.

If we are to go by what the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Willard Manungo, told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion on Monday, then our civil servants will at least smile all the way to the bank come month-end.

At household levels, surely thousands of families will be delighted because Government has vowed that it will not renege on its promise to raise civil servants’ salaries.

Our Government has always been pro-people and the country should understand that Treasury failed to meet revenue collection targets during the first quarter as envisaged in the 2014 National Budget by at least six percent.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa presented the US$4,1 billion budget on the premise that US$3,824 billion would come from tax revenues and the balance of US$296 million from non-tax revenue.

The nation should understand that naturally, it is difficult for Treasury to meet targets in the first quarter since tax remittances will be low as companies will be re-aligning and repositioning themselves for the challenges of the year ahead.

Treasury appears to be facing a much bigger task in raising money because a number of companies did not open in January.

After this has been said and done, the nation should salute our resourceful Finance Ministry that announced on Monday that there was no going back in paying civil servants this money.

Given that we have about 230 000 Government workers, the entire economy is likely to respond positively no matter how small the figures the civil servants are going to receive may appear at first sight, and when this happens, be rest assured the entire economy will respond positively.

Source : The Herald