Civil Servants Are Handsomely Paid - Mthuli Ncube
Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube says it is not true that civil servants are underpaid. He said that their salaries were above the poverty datum line (PDL).
Ncube on Wednesday said 53% of the country’s budget was being spent on government employees’ salaries.
He said this while addressing Parliament where he was quizzed over civil servants’ low salaries. Ncube said:
So we have responded to that and there is a misnomer or rather a misleading contribution from some of the honourable members who ignore the US$175 that we are paying to civil servants and only focus on the Zimbabwe dollar question.
If you include the US$175 per month, the average earnings for civil servants come to US$297 at the current exchange rate, which is in line with the PDL of July which is at US$285. So it is perfectly in line with the PDL for July 2022.
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Teachers, who form the bulk of civil servants, earn around ZWL$60 000 plus US$175 in allowances while nurses earn about ZWL$215 000 which includes various allowances, plus the US$175.
According to statistics availed by the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (ZimStat), the PDL as of July stood at ZWL$140 000.
The official exchange rate currently stands at $494 to US$1 and anything between $750 and $850 on the parallel market.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) secretary-general Goodwill Taderera criticised Ncube’s remarks. He said:
Government is taking advantage of us. They (authorities) are taking advantage of our understanding.
They themselves do not get the kind of money they are giving us. The PDL is not a living wage.
Ncube saying our salaries are above the PDL is not fair on us civil servants. When we talk of salaries, we should not compare them with the PDL.
When we talk of salaries, we are talking of a living wage. We talk about what is happening on the ground, not just talking about figures from nowhere.
As far as we are concerned as ZIMTA, we are receiving less than the poverty datum line. We are supposed to be getting around US$804.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary-general Japhet Moyo said Ncube was out of touch with reality.