Civil servants wages: Govt can’t run forever

EDITORIAL COMMENT

GOVERNMENT’s continued action of snubbing its workers as it tries to avoid paying what is due to the civil servants is nothing short of folly.

In fact, it reminds us of lyrics of one of reggae music legend Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley’s greatest songs in which he said: “Ya running and ya running, away;
But ya can’t run away from yourself. Ya must have done Somet’in’ wrong (something wrong).”

Despite Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and colleagues always telling us that things are looking good and they have recorded a surplus, the situation on the
ground is telling us a different story; and the civil servants’ shrill cries for help over their useless pay cheques is telling of the dire state of our
economy.

The sooner Ncube and colleagues sober up and see things as they are and give proper advice to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the better it will be for us all
because this business of running away from the truth will only make matters worse for everyone.

That government is determined to shy away from meeting its workers around a table to hear their grievances and curve out a lasting solution is indicative of
something gravely wrong within government.

Mnangagwa has been telling us that he and his administration have solutions to the country’s unending economic problems, and for him and his administration to
then run away from meeting aggrieved public workers only serves to expose that “somet’in’ is wrong”, indeed.

But unfortunately, or fortunately, they can run, but they can’t run for ever; more so because they too are public servants themselves and the problems they are
running away from will sooner than later catch up with them.

The recent 15% or so fuel price hike has already further gnawed into the civil servants’ meagre earnings in a big way, and expected more hikes in electricity
charges are some of the many tell-tale signs that government is fast running out of rope as far as the public workers’ demands are concerned.

All the civil servants are asking for is a fair living wage calculated at the prevailing bank rate. This, in our view, should be easy to fulfil since
government keeps assuring us that everything is under control.

Need we remind government that also waiting on the wings for a fair living wage are the ever restless war veterans who have demanded a 100% increase in their
pensions. Time is definitely not on government’s side because a disgruntled public workforce is the last thing it wishes for at this point in time.