Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Government is committed to improving the welfare of civil servants by matching their salaries to the Poverty Datum Line, the President has said.
President Mugabe said Government was equally committed to improving the welfare of war veterans as he implored Zimbabweans to work for the good of the country.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said this when he addressed thousands of people who thronged the National Sports Stadium in Harare for the 36th Independence Day celebrations yesterday.
“Government will also continue to find ways of improving the welfare of civil servants,” he said.
“It is the desire of Government that salaries progressively match the Poverty Datum Line. Government apologises for the late disbursement of salaries, bonuses and monthly payments to pensioners, but be rest assured that Government is working flat out to improve the situation.
“Now that the workers have begun contributing towards the pension fund, payment of pensioners will be more predictable and on time.”
President Mugabe said as the nation celebrated the country’s independence, it should be borne in mind that it did not come on a silver platter as thousands of lives were lost while several others were maimed and scarred during the liberation struggle.
“As we continue to recognise the importance and crucial role played by the war veterans in the bitter struggle for freedom, Government has now established a full Cabinet ministry to oversee and manage the provision of their welfare, including that of former political detainees and restrictees.
“As you are aware, only 11 days ago I had the pleasure of meeting about 10 000 of them to hear and discuss their concerns and assure them of Government welfare assistance to alleviate their social situation.”
He said Government was also committed to translating political independence into meaningfulness by attending to people’s socio-economic needs.
President Mugabe implored every Zimbabwean to work for the good of the country.
“Progress has also been made in the development of social infrastructure in health, education and housing.
“This also includes the capacitating of our education sector with ICT as well as the implementation of e-Government in order to enhance efficiency and quality of service delivery to the public,” he said.
“Today, as we celebrate our 36th Independence Day Anniversary, let us re-dedicate ourselves to serve Zimbabwe at all times, always striving for peace, respect, tolerance and goodwill towards others and to tirelessly work for the unity and development of our beloved country, Zimbabwe.
“One of the greatest tributes we can pay to Zimbabwe is to shun corruption, regionalism and nepotism. We should always remember that we are one people, united by the bond of Independence,” said President Mugabe.
President Mugabe said Government was also committed to develop rural communities where the majority of the citizens live.
“To this end, Government now has the Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of Natural Heritage. This re-arrangement of Government functions resulted in the creation of the Ministry of Sport and Recreation which will, on its part, concentrate on the development of sporting and recreational activities in the country,” he said.
President Mugabe hailed the security forces for remaining resolute in defence of the country’s sovereignty and peace.
President Mugabe, who was the Sadc and African Union chairperson last year, said the country had successfully chaired the two organs during its tenure.
“This historic feat accorded the country the rare opportunity to serve the people of Southern Africa, and Africa at large, in pushing forward the sub-region’s and the continent’s priorities. Our leadership of these two organisations greatly enhanced Zimbabwe’s image and influence in Africa and beyond.
“The country’s Look East Policy also received a major boost with the State visit of the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping, in December 2015,” said President Mugabe.