Teachers join ‘we want USD’ mantra
The Zimbabwean education sector is on the brink of collapse if Zimbabwe Teachers Union (ZIMTA) request to be paid in foreign currency is not met.
In a press statement released on Friday, ZIMTA secretary general Tapson Nganunu Sibanda said that their demands for payment in foreign currency was corollary of the soaring prices for basic commodities and tax increments on Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).
‘’In light of the prevailing economic situation in the country, where service providers are demanding payments in foreign currency, we as teachers in Zimbabwe, being the largest section of the civil servants, hereby demand to be paid our salaries in foreign currency forthwith,’’ ZIMTA secretary general, said in the statement.
“Our demand is informed by the fact that teachers can no longer afford to pay for daily commuting to work, buy food, rentals, and medical bills as all service providers are demanding payments in foreign currency,” he went on.
The country is facing an economic depression which has been the worst since 2008, which has been marked with shortages of basic commodities, long fuel queues and ridiculous price hikes. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is struggling to meet foreign currency demand from local companies, creating an unstable situation for manufacturers who are unable to import critical raw materials which has fueled the scarcity of basic commodities.
Government has made efforts in trying to monitor prices by retailers and that retailers should not refuse RTGS or Bond Notes. With most of the commodities being imported from South Africa, retailers aren’t able to pay for imports using Bond Notes which has further devalued the surrogate currency.
‘’Our current salaries can no longer sustain our mere existence as teachers in Zimbabwe. The current salaries, which are low and distorted, have driven teachers into poverty and incapacitation. We as ZIMTA, believe that our demand to be paid salaries in foreign currency is justified as any further delays in doing so will destabilize the education sector,”
”We as ZIMTA, believe that our demand to be paid salaries in foreign currency is justified as any further delays in doing so will destabilize the education sector,”continued in the statement.
The monetary measures and pronouncement introduced in Finance Minister of Zimbabwe Mthuli Ncube on October 1, have dented the already struggling economy and stimulated fuel shortages and unreasonable price hikes which has made the surrogate useless. The hyper-inflationary environment has raised much alarm that Zimbabwe could return of 2008.
However government is yet to respond to the request by the teachers to be paid in foreign currency.