Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube says the government cannot afford to peg civil servants’ salaries at the prevailing US-RTGS interbank rates.
Speaking to reporters during the anti-sanctions rally at the National Sports Stadium on Friday, Ncube argued that the government would go bust if it gives in to civil servants’ demands. He said:
We cannot afford to do it, where is the exchange rate now? 1:15? Can you imagine if we were to multiply those salaries by a factor of 1 to 15 which is what I am hearing?
We would rather do it in a sustainable way, in a gradual way and I think we have tried our best, we cannot afford it. As a government, we will bust.
Doctors at the country’s public hospitals, who have been on strike for over a month, have demanded that the government reverts to their USD salaries and convert them at the interbank rate.
Members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) have also demanded interbank rate-indexed salaries.