Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Public Service Minister says no pay freeze

Eliphas Mukonoweshuro

Zimbabwe’s Public Service Minister Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro has contradicted statements by Finance Minister Tendai Biti that government had introduced a pay freeze of civil servants salaries. In a veiled attack on Biti, Mukonoweshuro said only his Ministry had the mandate to make such a decision and that the Finance Minister was trying to behave like a ‘super minister’ usurping the authority of his colleagues.

Speaking to journalists in Harare Mukonoweshuro said “This Government does not operate on the basis of super ministers who may frequently arrogate themselves responsibilities that are neither in their present province of competence nor designated mandate.”

“It is most important for me to stress that all issues pertaining to the Ministry of Public Service portfolio, remuneration issues, conditions of service, human resources policy and management are the responsibility and central mandate of the responsible minister and no one else,” he said.

Biti announced two weeks ago that salaries had been frozen but on Saturday Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai put him in his place telling a Workers’ Day rally in Dzivarasekwa that there was no such policy position. On Tuesday Biti continued the cold war by insisting salaries were frozen and would remain so until government revenue inflows improve.

Mukonoweshuro however reiterated that the Prime Minister had spoken most definitely and conclusively. “There is no Government policy to freeze civil service salaries at present. That is the position of Government, which at the moment is cast in stone.  “The Prime Minister, therefore, lucidly pronounced Government policy on the issue and that is the last word.”