Friday, February 12, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai backtracks on salary pledge

Tsvangirai backtracks on salary pledge
Mutsawashe Makuvise
Fri, 12 Feb 2010 03:35:00 +0000

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday tried to waterdown a pledge he made to civil servants at the time of his inauguration that he would increase their salaries and pay them salaries that reflected the work they did.

The PM implored striking civil servants to return to work while Government works on favourable package for them. Some civil servants downed their tools last Friday after their representatives failed to agree with Government on salaries.

In an interview with Newsnet yesterday, PM Tsvangirai said Government did not have the resources to meet their demands for a minimum US$630 salary and said he never told them how much they would get paid.

"When they downed their tools they said that Tsvangirai promised us some money but I did not say how much Government would give the workers because this is debatable," he said.

He said workers should not be guided by "political emotions".

A few hours after being sworn in as prime minister last year, Tsvangirai told a a rally at Glamis Stadium told civil servants that they would get better salaries and uninterrupted electricity and water supplies among other things.

He told the rally, "Economic collapse has forced millions of our most able to flee the country seeking menial jobs, for which they are often overqualified but underpaid. This must end today."

Tsvangirai pledged to give "our professionals in the civil service, every health worker, teacher, soldier and policeman... hard currency salaries (that) will enable (them) to go to work, to feed their families and to survive".

He also told a rally in Manicaland that he had the "keys" to unlock resources.

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