|Civil servants petition Parliament|
|Wednesday, 25 July 2012 00:00|
Felex Share Herald Reporter
The workers, led by the Apex Council leaders, however, managed to hand over the petition to Clerk of Parliament Mr Austin Zvoma at Parliament Building.
Mr Zvoma received the petition on behalf of Senate President Mrs Edna Madzongwe and the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Lovemore Moyo.
The workers are demanding an all-inclusive salary of US$564 for the least paid worker and 15 percent of the basic salary as rural allowance.
Ministry of Finance, but nobody has ever stopped to ask themselves where does this money come from? Is there anywhere that money grows at Block B at the New Government Building? Do we have a cow where we milk money from at our offices?” he said.
Earlier on the placard-wielding workers were blocked from entering Minister Biti’s offices by security guards who insisted they were under strict instruction from the administration.
“We have been instructed not to let anyone in by the minister's office . . . although you are accompanied by the police there is nothing we can do,” one security guard said.
Outgoing Apex Council chairperson, Mrs Tendai Chikowore, said Minister Biti had treated them as “terrorists” instead of workers.
“He has ignored us the way he does when formulating his budgets. It means to him the issue of workers does not matter. We are not going to take this lightly and as we map the way forward we are going to consider his attitude,” he said.
“Since independence, 2012 is the first time in the history of labour in the public sector that Government only reviews workers'’allowances and fails to raise their salaries.
“Civil servants cannot understand why they continue to be paid salaries below the poverty datum line with no effort by Government to progressively move the salaries towards the poverty datum line levels, which in economics are regarded as moving targets,” read part of the petition.
Majongwe, said levels of arrogance displayed by Minister Biti could not be tolerated.
Added Mr Raymond Majongwe: “It pains that he does not want to meet us. He does not even want to hear our input in his budget consultations but one day the chickens will come home to roost.”
Apex Council brings together the Public Service Association, Zimbabwe Teachers Association, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the College Lecturers Association of Zimbabwe.
The demonstration was almost scuttled after Mr Muyaradzi Gwisai and his International Socialist Organisation, joined the protest march at the behest of Mr Majongwe.
Mr Nyawo challenged Mr Majongwe why he invited Mr Gwisai: “ . . . Majongwe, why this political interference? Is that what we planned.”