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Civil servants to go on strike today

The Apex Council, the body representing 19 civil service unions, says government employees will go on strike today because the government has failed to meet their demands.

A depreciating bond note, a surge in fuel prices, and rising inflation (which reached 42% at the end of December) has pushed up the cost of living, and government employees want pay rises to match the rise in living conditions.

David Dzatsunga, the secretary general of the Apex Council, said yesterday that civil servants had served notice of a strike action and would demonstrate against the cost of living. Last week, Labour Minister Sekai Nzenza announced that the government was committed to pay a cost of living allowance to the 350 000-strong government labour force.

But Dzatsunga said government workers who received their monthly salaries last week were yet to receive the promised allowance. Nzenza said on Tuesday that unforeseen difficulties prevented the allowance from being paid last week but it will be paid by tomorrow.

“As Apex Council, having met the government severally with no tangible results, we are advising the government that the said notice served on 8 January expires in 48 hours,” Dzatsunga said in a statement. “On the expiry of the notice, the Apex Council will not be liable for what happens thereafter.” Government employees recently rejected a 10% salary increase and instead demanded to be paid a minimum wage of $1 700.

President Mnangagwa then offered a 5% to 22,7% cushioning allowance (depending on one’s level in the civil service) to cover the January to March 2019 period while negotiations for a salary review are underway.

Dzatsunga expressed concern over the victimisation of workers. following last week’s violent protests that paralysed business and government operations.




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Chief Editor: Earnest Mudzengi Content Editor: Willie Gwatimba