Soldiers get pay rise

soldiers_rioting.jpgHARARE -- The government has increased uniformed forces' allowances from US$100 to US$200 starting this month.

Zimbabwe National Army soldiers started receiving the new allowances on
Wednesday at major banking halls. The Zimbabwe Republic Police are also
expected to receive the new allowances on April 24.

Some officers stationed at Braeside Police Station in the capital, told
RadioVOP that the new allowances had already been deposited into their
bank accounts.

However, the banks have been struggling to pay out the new allowances
owing to a severe shortage of foreign currency in the country.

Soldiers had threatened to revolt if their allowances were not reviewed.

In December last year, disgruntled low ranking soldiers, frustrated by
delays in receiving their meagre salaries because of acute cash
shortages, ran riot in the streets of Harare, looting shops and
attacking illegal foreign currency dealers.

In addition to the allowances, the uniformed forces also receive
salaries in local currency, which was however last week suspended until
next year.

The civil servants started receiving allowances in hard currency in
February following the formation of an inclusive government. The
government is currently spending USd 23 million a month on salaries for
ministers and allowances for civil servants.

Welshman Ncube, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, told a meeting
in Bulawayo recently that government was only raising US$30 million
through taxes and other sources.

A remainder of only US$ 7 million was being used for national programmes.

The more than 70 ministers along with the civil servants are reportedly chewing up US$23 million, he said.

Radio VOP

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