Of bank notes, of salary increment and of untamed inflation: The slippery economic terrain

This stalemate has nothing to do with politics, but it is a battle between employer and employee


By Trust Sibanda

I have taught myself to remove education and reasoning to address the ghosts of Zimbabwe. Education breeds fear and carelessness. In fact I hate education as it subtracts knowledge and wisdom.

Many are times when I comment about literate uneducated voters of Zimbabwe and my critiques say the statement is grammatically correct but logically wrong.

This is our Zimbabwe and its educated people playing into the hands of tricky economic gambles. Strike over salary increase; print a higher denomination to match the demand presented by the strike and inflation competes in the race.

Can you believe it? On my first day of going to school while everyone was congratulating me of reaching pupil hood my granny had reservations about my enrolment as she argued that school will remove the natural wisdom in me.

I failed to comprehend her arguments until a story was told from her wrinkled lips. What was the story?

She once told me that one day when she was coming from Nkayi Business Centre with Mkhulu who had just arrived from Wenela the bus they boarded lost control and wandered into the nearby bush.

In the confusion only two people jumped from the bus to meet their death on the ground while all other passengers escaped with minor injuries. The two who died were a couple teaching at a nearby school – Mr and Mrs Dube.

Emergency Exit Kickout Panel

These two it is assumed were the only passengers who could read and understand the words ‘Emergency Exit Kick out panel” so their ability to read made them able candidates to be wasted in that accident.

The illiterate like my grannies remained glued to their seats as they had no clue that printed words on selected window panels were words that had the potential of consuming or saving them.

In her narrative my granny was convinced that education creates contempt and carelessness. I see her reasoning falling into place today decades after her burial.

Back to of bank notes, of salary increment and of untamed inflation: The slippery economic terrain.

I question the wisdom of our beloved civil servants especially teachers when they ask for a salary increase under the volatile economic conditions Zimbabwe is currently riding on.

Are they striking because they need to fill up their pockets with useless notes or there are striking because they have diagnosed fewer figures as the main culprit for their unfortunate situation?

Body parts of a locust

Let us hope their books did not tell them that money is the solution and a guarantee for a bright future.

The same money they demand is the same money the politician needs for their new venture creation which is looting through corruption.

In that competition it is unlikely for a civil servant to be victorious as they pity the evil servant in the same race. If our teachers diagnosed five digits as the solution there got it all wrong. This is a mistake by our educators.

Civil servants must go back to the drawing board and identify the real problem standing on their way so that they can stage a meaningful industrial action.

Their problem is not with the employer but their employer is the problem. They must march to those offices demanding the birth of a well managed economy which is free from shrinkages. An economy not characterized by inflationary figures but something stable that promotes possible growth projections. They must talk of real issues than naming the body parts of a locust.

Whip the government into line

They must demand a stake in the economy which they will manage through their expertise.

Without the means civil servants will strike daily and receive printouts named money which will buy nothing. What we call money will start from what we call the highest denomination as that will form part of the change on any transaction. 2008 here we come again.

Radical changes are needed within civil servants organizations for them to be taken serious. It starts by changing the leadership of their unions.

They have been there since the old dispensation and passed their shelf life.

New blood is likely to bring innovative ways of panel beating the employer into line. The old folks feel permanent in those positions to the point that they do not see the reason for thinking outside the box.

Renewal is needed in unions so that they present fresh none captured faces to the employer.

Civil servants must push for the restoration of a middle class society where they belong. Erosion of this society leaves them with two choices which are to commit crime and join the elite class or to fold hands and congest the lower class society and compete for already depleted resources.

Unions must hold the government to account. They must not do this in a divided approach. They must rope in ZCTU and all its proxies to demand better working conditions and a stable economy. They must also demand progressive ways of governance which are sustainable. The working class has power to whip the government into line.

Low hanging fruits-cheap publicity

There are the people and there are the production pools. In their moves they must leave out politicians as most of them go for low hanging fruits-cheap publicity. The stale mate has nothing to do with politics but a battle between employer and employee.

Teachers, clerks and everyone defined as a civil servant must wake up and smell the coffee.

It is time to realize that comfort has nothing to do with salary increase but it is more to do with a stabilized economy.

Let us get to a point where we question the employer for his/her wrong economic choices and let us protect the civil society from exploitation.

If we all say we are not going to work till things are right will anyone kill us for that? Industrial action is constitutional and tripartite negotiations have a blessing of the International Labour Organisation(ILO) so who will say you have committed an offence by saying no reforms no work.


Trust Sibanda is a businessman. He writes in his personal capacity.  Contact him at 071965 6660. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Zimbabwe Digital News



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