Zim's Economic Challenges Driving Civil Servants To Suicide - Teachers' Union
Zimbabwe’s economic challenges, high inflation and the rising cost of living are driving civil servants and ordinary people to suicide.
The Amalgamated Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) last week said a deputy school head and mother of three, Miriam Manyarara, from Mwenezi District in the Masvingo Province took her own life due to “slave wages”.
Manyarara was reportedly found hanging in her house by colleagues after collecting her salary.
Speaking to TimesLive, ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure said that teachers and civil servants are suffering in silence. He said:
It is very unfortunate that we have a serious mental health crisis in Zimbabwe that is not being attended to.
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We have a serious issue of underpayment which triggers mental health illness.
Unfortunately, we have teachers who are taking their lives, and police officers who are taking their lives.
They are underpaid and no one is paying attention to their urgent needs. People are suffering in silence and committing suicide.
As a union, we urge the government of the day to have policy interventions that can address the crisis and to pay teachers and other civil servants a living wage to enable them to deal with the challenges they face daily.
Recently a police officer who had been taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare hanged himself after telling doctors his salary was too low to support his family.
There are 135 000 teachers employed in Zimbabwean public schools and they earn about ZWL$100 000 in Zimbabwe dollars and a monthly allowance of US$250.
Over the weekend, Public Service and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said the Government is looking at giving public sector workers a new salary package to “cushion them from the rising cost of living”. He said:
We are looking at all possibilities including effecting an increase of US dollars as well as a pay increase in local currency.
Civil servants are demanding US$840 per month for the lowest-paid Government employee.
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