By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Government has for the second month running paid salaries to uniformed forces including the secret service that are almost double what ordinary civil servants are currently earning, Nehanda Radio has established.
In February, the secret service and all uniformed forces had their salaries doubled, jumping from ZWL14 000 (USD 140) to ZWL28 000 (USD 280) for the lowest paid rank.
“We maintain a separate pay sheet from that of ordinary civil service,” said a member of the uniformed forces who did not want her identity revealed.
The source professed ignorance when she was asked when other civil servants would get their salaries.
“I don’t know when,” she said
Nehanda Radio also sought a comment from Public Service Commissioner secretary, Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe on why members of the uniformed forces were being paid more compared with others in the civil service.
Wutawunashe said negotiations that apply to civil servants were on-going.
“I’m not sure who your sources are, so I can’t certify your numbers,” he said.
“What will please you, no doubt, is to know that negotiations that apply to civil servants are on-going, and that the outcome will apply to civil servants.”
Earlier, the ambassador had said: “the two, presumably salaries for uniformed forces and those for ordinary civil servants are not related.
“Remuneration for civil servants is negotiated in the National Joint Negotiating Council, which does not cover any other category.”
Meanwhile, the same favour was also reportedly extended to veterans of the 1970s Chimurenga armed struggle.
Political analysts said there was more than meets the eye in the recent cases of ‘salaries adjustments’ to both the active and non-active members of the security apparatchiks by the Government of Zimbabwe.
“This salary (increment) issue is deliberately meant to ‘buy’ the favour of those in the security forces.
“We know that the intention of all this is to make it appear like they (uniformed service) are favoured above the rest of other government workers so that they become available for any work they may afterwards be needed for,” said one senior civil servant who preferred anonymity.
“During (President Robert) Mugabe’s era, no worker, including those from the security sector, was ever subjected to any such favouritism as we witness today.”
A University of Zimbabwe political analyst, Eldred Masunungure, while admitting that he was not privy to full details of the uniformed forces’ salaries arrangement but government had capacity to please the uniformed forces ahead of other civil servants.
“What you are asking wouldn’t be surprising at all. This is a government which is aware that ‘real’ power can be derived from the barrel of the gun.
“Giving just an impression that the government has the capacity to openly favour the ‘gun’ to secure its power-retention machinations is, therefore, an added advantage.”
Masunungure also added that once such an alliance was established between the uniformed service and the ruling elite, many other ‘evil’ things would fall into place.
Obert Masaraure of Artuz, an organisation that represents rural teachers, said they were also reliably informed that uniformed forces were getting slightly below or upwards of ZWL33 000 compared to the paltry ZWL18 000 teachers and other civil servants were receiving.
The Nehanda Radio source confirmed that besides the prevailing unfair salary scales between ordinary civil servants and the uniformed forces, many schools in Harare were operating ‘smoothly’.