By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary for Labour and Social Security Gideon Shoko has accused government for gazetting RTGS$160 as minimum wage per month for domestic workers citing that it contradicted government agreement with workers representatives.
Shoko said the Advisory Board and the parties that represents domestic workers agreed ZWL$385 for a gardener and ZWL$400 for housekeeper sall with an allowance of ZWL $385.00 for transport, accommodation and other ancillaries.
“The figures that have been published are not the ones agreed upon between the Parties at the Advisory Board.
“The MDC notes with concern that government has gazetted paltry wages of 160 RTGS per month for all domestic workers, contrary to representations and agreements government had reached with the relevant sector,” Shoko said.
Government, however gazetted ZWL 160 equivalent to US5 which he said was not enough to buy basic goods.
“Given the parlous state of the economy, that figure is enough to a bundle of vegetables.
In Zimbabwe, domestic workers are the most lowly paid and the Industry is very much unregulated as they do not fall under an Employment Council.
Their wages are negotiated under a Labour Advisory Board, mostly with the Zimbabwe Domestic Allied Workers Union and with some Employers of Domestics picked by government.
“The Domestics representatives had a very plausible figure of ZWL$1200 and after negotiations they settled for the following figures:
“All with an Allowance of ZWL $385.00 for transport, accommodation and other ancillaries. The figures that have been published are not the ones agreed upon between the Parties at the Advisory Board,” added Shoko.
Shoko said gazetted figures were a reflection that the ruling party ZANU PF government had no people at heart.
“The MDC is disappointed that we have a government that has no empathy with the poor, they are simple not trustworthy as they change goal posts after agreeing with workers representatives. Figures which they had agreed with workers representatives were higher than what government eventually gazetted.
“The present situation on the ground shows that rentals for a room in high density areas costs an average of ZWL$200 while a kilogramme of economy beef is going for ZWL$120,” Shoko added.
To worsen situation, on Tuesday, Finance Ministry increased the subsidy price for roller meal to ZWL70, up from ZWL50 citing that they were forced to do so by irresponsible business tendencies by some unscrupulous roller meal dealers.
This comes at a point when Zimbabwe is experiencing drought, which is compounded by an economic crisis characterised by power-cuts of up 18 hours daily, acute foreign currency shortages, runaway inflation of over 400%, an angry populace and agitated workforce. Nehanda Radio