HARARE: Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government will once again delay paying the salaries of civil servants for this month, state media reported Saturday, in a further sign of the worsening economic crisis.
The delays are likely to spark further discontent among the public service employees who are already battling to cope with the increasing cost of living.
In July, government employees staged a strike over late pay, after going for weeks without income.
The Herald newspaper reported that August salaries for army personnel, police, teachers and health workers would be delayed by at least a week.
“It is a fact that we have revenue challenges,” Prisca Mupfumira, the country’s public service minister, told the newspaper when announcing the new pay dates.
The military are normally the first priority for payment due to their role in protecting the regime of President Robert Mugabe, 92.
They are normally paid on the 14th or 15th of every month.
Mupfumira said the army would get their salaries on August 23, health personnel on the 26th, followed by police on the 30th.
The teachers would get paid on September 2 and the rest of the civil service on September 5.
In June only police and security forces were paid, while other civil servants received a $100 advance with the news their salaries had been delayed.
The government has in the past months been announcing varying pay dates for each month for different government departments.
Zimbabwe spends at least 80 percent of its revenue on state workers’ wages, according to officials, while about 90 percent of the population has no formal employment.