Members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) are reportedly threatening bhora musango, a protest vote for the opposition in next year’s polls citing poor salaries, working conditions and deteriorating standards of living.
Their threats come when other civil servants have called for nationwide strikes on July 27 and 28 demanding “restoration of the value of our wages to pre-October 2018 levels to be paid in USD and not in ZWL with immediate effect.”
July 2022 salary review:
a). Nurses are now getting around $150 000, US$100, and US$75 COVID-19 allowance which is given to all civil servants.
b). Soldiers get around $98 000
c). Police officers along with teachers get $43 000.
NewsDay Zimbabwe reports that leaked WhatsApp chats suggest that police officers, including high-ranking officials, said they would embark on a go-slow and threatened protest votes in the 2023 polls. One officer (name withheld) said:
The solution is in the ballot, come 2023. So the ruling party will just get the votes according to its preference on awarding salaries. The nurses, as they are the highest paid, will give it the highest votes, followed by the soldiers and they will get the least from us as they have done on salaries. The salary scale used by government should be the replica of the votes that it gets. We need to use our brains and know what works for us.
Public Service Commission (PSC) secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe said salary negotiations differed from sector to sector, resulting in variances. He added that the government remains committed to ensuring that civil servants’ welfare is well catered for.
Effects of disgruntlement:
Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said calls for better salaries by the police are the same situation that is prevailing in the public sector.
He added that while they are allowed to vote for the opposition, what is worrisome is their audacity to challenge the government, “which we have not seen happening previously.:
Masunungure added that there is a need for the government to act swiftly as the issue is a security threat.
Another analyst Effie Ncube said the government will likely lose its grip on the security sector.