Various civil servants were furious yesterday when they checked their bank accounts after receiving this month’s salaries. Almost all civil servants said they had received a “pay cut” although government officials explained it was more nuanced than that. The explanation that the reduction in pay was because the government had paid up arrears they owed civil servants which they had been paying in instalments did nothing to cool down tempers.

According to the Chronicle some nurses received about $4 000 ZWL in salaries down from about $6 000.The Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) said these paltry salaries meant nurses had become incapacitated:

There was a slash in terms of the total package and after inquiring with Government we were told that this is due to arrears that were being paid.

It was spread over four months from January. Now the four months elapsed and we are now back to reality and we always knew that would happen.

How are we going to budget with $3 500 as we are the people going to work while everyone else is on lockdown and we are not being provided with transport?

Whatever the Government will offer us in local currency will be inadequate as prices are going up on a daily basis.

We are in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis and we do not want to withdraw our labour as that would be a recipe for disaster.

Enock Dongo speaking to the Chronicle

How much is enough?

Well according to information recently published by ZIMSTAT, the cost of living for an average family of 5 had risen to about $7 500 in May. We are in June and prices of everything continue to go up on a daily basis so it’s a no brainier that this amount has gone up. The average civil servant earns a salary of about $3 500 after deductions. This is less than half of what they need.

The government has promised to meet with civil servants over their cost of living.