Zimbabwe workers worried about pay raise

July 23, 2011 at 11:34 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe, July 23 (UPI) -- Public servants in Zimbabwe fear the $100-a-month pay raise they received will be short-lived, officials say.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who had previously stated the country's treasury could not support the pay increase, has funded it with money from alluvial diamond mines this month, Voice of America reported.

The money for the wage increase was supposed to come from taxes; however, tax revenues have been down $100 million the last five months. In lieu of tax revenues, Biti said the pay increases would have to be paid from $40 million in diamond taxes.

Instead of that money going through the treasury, it was put directly into the public service salary department, which pays wages out to civil servants' bank accounts.

Many public workers know the increase will not last.

"The increment that the government awarded the entire civil service is welcome although it is not enough. Most of us have received $100 as an increment per month. We are worried this money might not be able to be coming next month," said public servant Kundai Sibanda.

"There is nothing we can do when it comes to the fact that they actually tell us that there is no money when you actually budgeted a certain salary to feed your own family or to do certain things. So that is where we face the problem," agreed Chisomo Dlela

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