Nqobile Tshili / Lumbidzani Dima, Reporters Columnists
Officials hope the government will accede to their demand for wage payment in foreign currency as the country begins a new year by saying it will improve their standard of living.
Government employees said paying bonuses in foreign currency gave them hope for a better year 2022.
Last month, the government paid workers bonuses in foreign currency to protect them from an inflationary environment.
In an interview yesterday, the body of civil servants, Apex Council General Secretary David Dzatsunga, said employees have a legitimate right to demand wages in foreign currency.
“Our expectation for the new year is that we get more or the same as what we got with the bonus. We hope the government will make an effort to ensure that civil servants receive salaries in US dollars, as has been a long-standing demand. We believe that we also have a legitimate expectation in this regard, ”Mr. Dzatsunga said.
He said that state workers play a vital role in the implementation of government policies, so it will be prudent that their demands are taken into account.
Mr Dzatsunga also said employees need to understand that the country is still under the Covid-19 pandemic and that they need to adhere to prevention protocols.
“We must always follow safety protocols in the workplace and in everything we do. We are still in the pandemic and we must still play our role even as frontline workers and continue to selflessly serve as we did during the Covid-19 pandemic, ”Dzatsunga said.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) chief executive Dr Sifiso Ndlovu said they would continue to engage the government on their well-being at the start of the new year.
He said they are concerned about the rising cost of education.
“We are already seeing that goods and services have increased. Thus, we will engage the government on teacher welfare issues as we have done in the past. We also hope that the government will come up with strategies to ensure that education becomes accessible to all. What we are seeing right now is that education is getting more and more expensive, the fees are going up while stationery is also getting expensive, ”he said.
Meanwhile, residents of Bulawayo have said they hope for a better year after losing loved ones to the pandemic in 2021.
They said that alongside the Covid-19 pandemic, job opportunities were elusive for most of them.
Johns Matanhire, a taxi driver, said the economic environment was tough for him as he had to switch to selling.
“For some of us it has been difficult due to the economic situation characterized by an inflationary environment.
We hope the government can impose measures that will restore confidence in the currency. Prices were rising but incomes remained very stagnant. The only good thing is that bars have been allowed to reopen compared to last year when bars were not allowed to open, ”Mr Matanhire said.
Mr Melusi Khumalo said the year 2021 was an unforgettable event as he lost a family member and close friend to the pandemic.
“I hope 2022 will be better. The Covid-19 has really affected our lives. Some of us have lost people who were very close to us. 2021 has been a year to forget, but we hope things will improve even economically in 2022, ”Khumalo said.
Ms Christabel Gumbo said she hoped for a job in the coming year.
“I finished my marketing studies but couldn’t find a job. I have resorted to selling clothes in a flea market, but my hope is to find a job I was trained for, ”Ms. Gumbo said.
Anxious Moyo, a student at Speciss College, said the lockdown has affected his studies and he hopes the school schedule is not affected.
“I’m going to Upper Six but I don’t think I’m ready for this transition. I just learned for only one term all fifth year and with the lifelong learning component I think we need an uninterrupted education schedule over the coming year to completely cover the gap . I hope there will be less disruption in education, ”Anxious said. – @nqotshili