(Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s public sector
unions on Tuesday staged a peaceful demonstration in the capital
Harare during which they handed a petition to the government
demanding an upward review of workers’ salaries.
leaders of the unions said salaries of government workers had
been eroded by rising inflation, making it difficult for them to
make ends meet.
As part of the protest, the Civil Service Apex Council and
Health Apex Council leadership marched to the offices of Public
Service, Labor and Social Welfare Minister Sekai Nzenza and her
Finance and Economic Development counterpart Mtuli Ncube where
they handed in a petition with their grievances.
According to the petition, the workers are demanding an
alignment of their salaries to the interbank foreign exchange
rate, currently pegged at around 9 Zimbabwe dollars to 1 U.S.
This comes after the government this week offered the workers
a cushioning allowance of 97 Zimbabwe dollars, which was
rejected by the workers.
"Civil servants are not asking for a salary increment but
rather restoration of their earnings which fell from 475 U.S.
dollars in October 2018 to a mere 47 dollars for the lowest paid
civil servant," the workers said.
"In arriving at the figure for a cost of living adjustment,
the interbank rate must apply, bench-marked against the
pre-October 2018 average salary for the lowest paid civil
"This will therefore mean the lowest paid worker should earn
4,750 Zimbabwe dollars to restore the value of their earnings,"
the workers added.
The Zimbabwe government introduced the foreign currency
interbank market in February and discarded the 1:1 ratio it had
maintained between the Zimbabwe dollar and the U.S. dollar.
The local currency debuted at 2.50 to the U.S. dollar, and
has since depreciated to the current 9 dollars against the
The public sector workers argue that businesses were pricing
their goods and services using the inter-bank exchange rate and
hence were too costly for them.
Accepting the petition, Public Service, Labor and Social
Welfare deputy minister Lovemore Matuke said the concerns of the
workers would be dealt with through on-going negotiations
between the government and its workers.
"We have received your petition and we are definitely going
to look into the matters you have raised.
"I believe there are on-going talks which I believe will
yield positive results," he said.
Zimbabwean government workers have been at odds with their
employer since last year over poor salaries, resulting in
intermittent strikes by nurses and junior doctors at public
Nurses at government hospitals are currently working for at
least three days a week, citing incapacitation to work normal
summons British envoy following attack on foreign minister
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The Zimbabwean government has summoned the
British envoy over an assault on foreign minister Sibusiso Busi
Moyo and his delegation in London last week, state-run media
The Herald newspaper added that the government had
also called for the attackers - who appeared to be predominantly
Zimbabwean - to be prosecuted after they splashed Moyo with
bottled water while hurling insults at him at the Global
Conference for Media Freedom.
Moyo was on a four-day visit to the United Kingdom as part of
the Zimbabwean government’s re-engagement thrust, under which he
sought to strengthen bilateral relations between the two
countries and lure investors.
Acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Pavelyn Musaka on Tuesday said the government was concerned
about the incident, while a source told the paper that
inexplicable laxity by security services allowed the assailants
to pounce, despite top-notch security having been provided prior
to the incident.
"Our Government - through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs -
has summoned the Charge d’Affaires of the United Kingdom, Great
Britain and Northern Ireland, Mr Giles Enticknap, to register
our government’s protest against the assault on Minister Moyo
and his Zimbabwe delegation to the Global Conference for Media
Freedom co-ordinated by the government of the United Kingdom,"
"As organizers of the event, it was incumbent upon the
Government of the UK to assess the threat level for all
dignitaries and to provide under cover security details to
protect Honorable Minister Moyo in the event of any unforeseen
security situations arising.
"The Ministry wishes to inform our compatriots, members of
the public that while Government of Zimbabwe respects the rights
to freedom and the rights of its citizens to demonstrate
peacefully as part of the democratic process be it here in
Zimbabwe, in the UK or any part of the world that our
delegations are invited to visit whether in their official
capacity or in the personal capacities it objects to the
assaults on Minister Moyo as head of the Zimbabwean delegation,"
She said the protesters’ actions were a violation of laws of
both the UK and international laws regarding the protection of
persons of Moyo’s stature.
"The Ministry therefore calls for the government of UK to
take all measures necessary to bring the perpetrators of the
violence against the minister to book for their actions," she
Following the attack, Moyo twitted to his followers saying
that he was unharmed.
Kenya to grant citizenship
to Shona people in 2020
by Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Kenya plans to grant Shona people,
who are Zimbabwe descent, citizenship in 2020, a government
official said on Thursday.
Gordon Kihalangwa, principal secretary for immigration and
citizen services at Kenya’s Ministry of Interior and
Coordination of National Government, told at a migration forum
in Nairobi that there approximately 3,500 Shonas living in
"There is a current global effort to ensure that
statelessness is addressed and Kenya being a signatory of the
United Nations Global Compact for Migration is keen to ensure it
solves the statelessness within its borders.
"Once the naturalization process starts it will take one year
to conclude the exercise," said Kihalangwa.
Kihalangwa said that the Shonas came to Kenya in 1960s to
work as missionaries.
They are stateless and have difficulty in accessing services
such education, health and employment.
Kihalangwa said that a multiagency team has been put in place
to spearhead the exercise of granting citizenship to the Shona
In 2017, Kenya began providing citizenship to the Makonde
people who trace their roots to Mozambique.
Zimbabwe civil servants
protest over depleted salaries
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Some union leaders of Zimbabwe’s
government workers protested here on Tuesday, demanding a pay
rise to survive soaring inflation.
The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency reported on Monday
that the country’s year-on-year inflation rate in June rose
sharply to 176 percent from 98 percent in May, driven by
increases in the price of basic goods.
Representatives of civil servants gathered in front of the
offices of the finance and labor ministries, holding placards
with messages like "No to slave salaries," local media reported.
Zimbabwe industry capacity
utilization to decline amid challenges
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Average capacity utilization in Zimbabwe’s
manufacturing sector is expected to decline to around 34 percent
in 2019, down from 48 percent in the previous year as local
producers struggle to overcome a cocktail of challenges,
Industry and Commerce Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu said Monday.
He told captains of industry and commerce at a meeting that
drought, Cyclone Idai, foreign currency and power shortages were
among major challenges curtailing industry performance, state
news agency New Ziana reported.
"As long as our capacity utilization is less than 60 percent,
it shows that there are inefficiencies that we have and that we
are pushing a lot of overheads into pricing, which makes our
products non-competitive," he said.
In the past five years, capacity utilization in the
manufacturing sector has failed to breach the 50 percent mark,
peaking at 48.27 percent in 2018.
This year’s drought has impacted negatively on the
agriculture sector, a key supplier of raw materials for the
The situation has been compounded by the shortage of foreign
currency for imports of key inputs.
Power shortages, exchange rate instability as well as high
inflation now at around 175 percent, were also weighing down the
"We are monitoring the prices of 14 products which have gone
so high in the past few months," he said.
"The price increases were mostly influenced by an exchange
rate which was rising at an exponential rate," he said.
However, Ndlovu lauded the return of the Zimbabwean dollar,
saying the move would improve competitiveness of local goods on
the export market.
"I have no doubt a local currency was what we needed now,
particularly as we venture into the export market," he said.