By Fani Mapfumo
Employees from Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) have accused top management of awarding themselves personal loans at the expense of general workers who are yet to receive salary increments, and are struggling to make ends meet.
Insiders told the Zim Morning Post that senior managers have been given loans of up to RTGs one million (US$ 80 000).
“The loans are being given to senior managers and this is happening soon after they were awarded salary increments,” the source said.
“We hear the loans are from US$50 to US$100 000 depending on one’s grade position.”
Investigations by the publication revealed that managers were asked to bring quotations from either building stuff or anything else they wanted to purchase with the loans so that complete paperwork could be submitted.
“Some have been looking for quotations from local hardware companies so that their loans can be processed,” the source said.
Speaking to Zim Morning Post another close source said the loans were unjustified as the same people who received vehicle loans in July.
“A week ago the management received offers to take loans from ZIMRA and the loans are not justifiable since the same people received vehicle loans barely three months ago,” said the insider.
He further said management was making their welfare a top priority while the rest of the employees were being neglected.
“The management has been given a blank cheque and will get loans based on quotations taken,” he added.
“The most unfortunate part is that we are not getting any of those loans and our salaries have remained the same. The management has failed to heed our call for increments yet they continue to award themselves hefty perks,” the source concluded.
In July, Zimra gave its top management vehicle loans worth more than ZWL203 million in total at a time when employees were protesting over stagnant salaries in the face of sky-high inflation.
Workers at the tax authority then embarked on a low intensity strike to force management to review their salaries, most of which are pegged at ZWL$6,000.
“What angers us as workers is that when we asked for salary increment in May, we were given a minimum of ZWL$3000 whilst the management was paid ZWL$100 000 each,” said an aggrieved ZIMRA employee.
“As if that was not enough, the management was this week given vehicle loans yet the livelihood of the rest of employees is deteriorating every day.”
Workers through the Zimbabwe Revenue & Allied Workers Trade Union (ZIMRATU) had suggested a salary increment of ZWL- 20, 362 for the lowest paid worker and US$239 for allowances.
However, management turned down the offer, awarding the lowest paid worker ZWL$3,370.37. Zim Morning Post