Zimbabwe lays off youth workers to cut public pay bill

4 Jan 19

The government of Zimbabwe has started laying off thousands of civil servants from its youth ministry in order to address the country’s finances and lower the public sector wage bill.

The salaries of public sector employees account for more than 90% of the government’s $4bn national budget.

This is seen as unsustainable by lenders, such as the IMF, which Zimbabwe might need to turn to for economic support.

The Public Service Commission said in a statement it would cut 3,365 youth officers from the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation.

It said: “The youth officers will be paid their cash in lieu of accrued days leave and cash in lieu of notice.”

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s president, is under pressure to tackle the country’s economic problems following decades of rule under Robert Mugabe, who blocked efforts to cut public sector salaries. Mugabe was removed in late 2017 in an army coup.

The country is also struggling with a dollar shortage and growing budget deficit.

In October, the cabinet approved an economic recovery plan, which included addressing the wage bill.

 

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