‘Mugabe deserves more than $12,000′ – Majongwe

PROGRESSIVE Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe has said President Robert Mugabe rightly deserves his US$12,000 monthly salary which has been criticised by the opposition.

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The trade unionist however, said the veteran leader needs to realise that he is not the only civil servant who deserved a pay rise.

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Mugabe said Thursday he was now earning a basic salary of $10,000 and $2,000 in allowances, a significant leap from his $4,000 he was earning only last year.

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The Zanu PF leader was quick to point out that the amount was not enough for his upkeep and did not tally with the salaries of his peers.

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His sentiments ignited strong criticism from his critics who felt Zimbabwe’s number one civil servant did not deserve a pay increase of such magnitude when ordinary workers’ pleas for a pay rise fell on deaf ears.

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But the PTUZ secretary general, an ardent Mugabe critic, chose to view things differently, insisting Mugabe’s lofty status and workload deserved better reward.

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“I agree with him (Mugabe),” Majongwe said.

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“He (Mugabe) must be given a pay increase because he is doing a lot of work and we must also be given a pay increase because we are doing a lot of work. He deserves more than $12,000; he must get that money and we must also get ours.

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“The fact that he gets an increment strengthens our resolve. Because if $12,000 is not enough for him, what of a teacher earning $500 with four children and a wife.

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“I cannot equate myself to the president but the most important thing is if he gets an increment, then all of us must get.”

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Zimbabwean civil servants earn a minimum wage of $300 against a poverty datum line of above $500.

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The PTUZ, a militant section of the country’s teaching professionals, has been fronting a protracted push for a pay increase among civil servants, in most instances advocating an outright industrial action.

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The state has, in many instances, reacted with brute force to their demands.

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