$60m housing deal for civil servants

Elita Chikwati and Felex Share
Government will tomorrow unveil a $60 million housing facility for civil servants as part of non-monetary incentives to its workers.

Tomorrow’s event will see the Government signing a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Building Society (NBS) on the roll out of the project.

This is part of Government’s commitment to provide decent and affordable housing to the people, mostly civil servants and among President Mnangagwa’s interventions to alleviate hardship among citizens on the back of austerity measures.

Inviting stakeholders to the signing ceremony, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) yesterday said this was part of Government’s continued efforts to improve conditions of service for its employees.

“The chairman Civil Service Commission will be signing a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Building Society on the roll out of a $60 million facility for public service housing project,” said the CSC.

“This is in light with Government’s continued efforts to improve conditions for its employees. The Public Service Commission, in conjunction with the National Building Society, has come up with various monetary and non-monetary incentives.

“Amongst the non-monetary incentives is the provision of affordable housing for members of the public service, through a $60 million facility provided by the National Building Society.”

The signing ceremony will be attended by CSC commissioners, officials from the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development; Local Government, Public Works and National Housing; Public Service; Labour and Social Welfare and NBS. Although the project is open to civil servants, there are units that are available to non-civil servants.

Government has over the years identified land in various cities and towns for residential stands and construction of high-rise apartment blocks for civil servants.

The development comes as Government yesterday engaged its workers over their salaries under the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC).

Government maintained its $300 million offer for the workers and another meeting is scheduled for tomorrow.

Addressing journalists after yesterday’s meeting, Apex Council secretary Mr David Dzatsunga said: “The Apex Council gives Government up to the NJNC meeting of Wednesday 30 January or face inevitable job action. This follows an NJNC meeting held today in which Government was not able to come up with an improved offer from the $300 million that it had initially offered at the last meeting.”

He blasted opposition elements who were hijacking civil servants’ labour issues to advance selfish interests.

“Of importance is the Apex Council wishes to alert all civil servants of an attempt by some mischievous elements to use our labour disputes to further their selfish ends. For the avoidance of doubt the Apex Council does not have an information department and henceforth from today onwards all communication will be on its letterhead and will be signed by its leadership.”

The workers are demanding a $1 733 salary for the least paid worker, up from $414 inclusive of allowances.

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