Zimbabwe to raise workers’ salaries the second time in three months

Zimbabwe's interim RTGS currency
Zimbabwe's interim RTGS currency

The Zimbabwean government is ready to raise civil servants’ wages for the second time in three months, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Monday, after a labour group threatened protests.

Mr Ncube told a meeting with local businesses in Harare that he had already a new wage figure pending the outcome of discussions with the unions.

“I have a (wage increase) figure already, and I am just waiting to hear from the unions.

“We will be meeting them tomorrow to hear their figures,” Mr Ncube told a meeting with local businesses in Harare.

He said the southern African country’s central bank would not hesitate to raise interest rates above their current level of 50 per cent to deal with people speculating on the value of the local currency.

Zimbabweans are angry, as year-on-year inflation of around 100 per cent has eroded the value of their wages and savings, recalling the horrors of the hyperinflation era in 2008.

Currency reforms introduced last month to ban the use of foreign currencies and make the interim RTGS currency the sole legal tender have done little to instil confidence that people’s living standards will improve soon.

Central bank Governor John Mangudya told the same event that Zimbabwean individuals and companies held around one billion dollars in foreign-currency accounts, around three months’ import cover.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions threatened “mass action” last month after the government made the RTGS the sole legal tender.

(Reuters/NAN)

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