Home » Education » Poorly Paid School Heads Resort to Kachasu, MPs

LEGISLATORS across the political divide have pleaded with government to scrap duty on vehicles imported by civil servants among a number of proposals that could help cushion them against their poor salaries.

Debating in the National Assembly Wednesday afternoon, legislators from both Zanu PF and MDC-T said the current working conditions for government workers were discouraging adding something should be done by the state to motivate them.

“Long back Mr Speaker sir, headmasters were respected and associated with a better life,” said the MDC-T’s Chamisa.

“I remember then that a quart was synonymous with headmasters as they were able to afford it. But today, out headmasters are taking cheap bear like Zed, kachasu and so on and so forth.”

MDC representative for Matabeleland South, Priscilla Misiharabwi-Mushonga said: “Somehow somewhere we are all products of civil servants, we need to applaud these men and women who shouldered the country during its trying time.

“They sacrificed their dignity for service delivery. I move that government introduces non-monetary incentives for these men and women who have braved the hardships for our economy.

“We need to have a policy that allows our civil servants to import vehicles duty free so that they are able to move from their homes to their work places.

“I know that currently when we give them an increment, it will not be enough, but we can do something about it through incentives that can motivate them.”

Zimbabwe’s civil servants are among the worst rewarded in the region with the least paid worker getting $375 per month against a poverty datum line of $540.

The MPs said government should also provide farms to its workers in preparation for their retirement as most leave their work stations without any investments.

“I believe that these incentives can help motivate our civil servants,” Misiharabwi-Mushonga said.

“We can also avail a shareholding facility in mining firms for the civil servants as a consortium so that they can earn an extra living. People like geologists and agronomists can do it.

“We have a civil servant who, if allowed to do farming, can cushion their salaries and give them an opportunity to grow their families as well as contributing to national development as opposed to let them be idle in offices doing nothing because of lack of motivation.

Other MPs who supported the motion include, Bulawayo MP Jasmine Toffa, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and Mandi Chimene who all said the move could improve the working conditions of its civil servant and attract skills.

“If we were to give them an opportunity to go and import things from neighbouring countries for resale without paying duty, I think it is one of the practical ways because not all are able to afford buying vehicles or shares in mining firms,” Nkomo said.

“I say so because most lowly paid MPs cannot afford vehicles but need to supplement their salaries.”

But Chimene warned that government needed to carefully think the proposals through.

“If we are to do this scheme, we will need to put stringent measures to curb corruption and abuse of the facility. I think civil servants should participate in the indigenisation programme and land reform. No one stops them from participating,” she said.

Chamisa added: “This government must do something for its workers like provision of an opportunity to study abroad, giving them laptops on a facility which allows them to pay over a period of time and the vehicle loan scheme as stated by the mover of the noble motion.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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