Saturday, October 08, 2016

Zimbabwe Civil Servants Demand Stands
October 8, 2016
Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Zimbabwe Herald

Civil servants have demanded that Government comes up with a housing scheme for them as part of non-monetary incentives. The workers, who had a three-day engagement with their employer this week, also demanded that rentals for Government houses be revised downwards. The engagement, initiated by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, sought to appraise the workers on their conditions of service and non-monetary incentives being worked out.

Government also wanted to inform the workers on the ongoing rationalisation exercise, shift in pay dates, impending introduction of bond notes as well as pension and medical aid benefits. Experts in various fields attended the meetings.

Apex Council chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander said as workers’ representatives, they would soon approach the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing with a view to having a specific housing scheme for civil servants.

She said many schemes had been established in the name of civil servants, but in the end benefited outsiders and political bigwigs. “One of the recommendations was that a special housing scheme be established specifically for Government workers,” she said.

“There are other specific groups that have been given special schemes and we feel that civil servants have been left out and they should also be considered by Government, our employer. The issue of public service housing rentals also came to the fore and we feel that they have to be revisited as they are too high. The agreement was that various ministries are to make submissions to the Local Government ministry. Civil servants were also encouraged to migrate their bank accounts to the newly-established National Building Society to access mortgages for houses.”

Mrs Alexander said they had called on Government to pay off its debt to PSMAS as it had affected civil servants from accessing quality health services. “Another resolution was that Government should walk the talk on corruption,” she said.

“It was resolved that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should consider stimulating the agricultural sector by putting money for irrigation projects and also incentivise farmers to contribute to national economic development. It was also resolved that there is need to grow the economy by giving incentives to investors both local and international ones. There is also need to plug glaring revenue leakages at areas such as tollgates and having a database for the informal sector to improve the tax base.”

On pending bond notes, Mrs Alexander said: “The resolution was that there is need for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to vigorously market the importance of plastic money and bond notes at the grassroots levels as the perception about bond notes was negative.”

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