Civil servants say the doubling of the education budget announced by Finance Minister, Mr Tendai Biti is a welcome development although the expected increase in civil servants salaries is not adequate to lure professionals who had left the country.
In his 2011 budget, Finance Minister Biti announced an increase in the civil service allocation from US$770 000 in 2010 to US$1,4 billion in 2011, translating to about 100% increment on their salaries.
The development has been received with some mixed feelings with some civil servants saying the increment is still way below the poverty datum line.
ZBC caught up with some civil servants who said the increment is not enough to lure back professionals who had left the country in search of greener pastures as it is below the poverty datum line of US$462.
â€œCivil servants who left the service for greener pastures will not come back under the current set up. We just need more than what was allocated to us,â€ one civil servant said.
Other said the increament is not enough to change their lifestyles.
â€œWe welcome the increment but our salaries should be above the poverty datum line in order to bring back the dignity in the service,â€ said another civil servant.
Since the introduction of the multi-currency system in February last year, civil servants had been earning far below the poverty datum line and had been pressing government to improve their salaries.
Currently, they earn on average about US$180 a month and if their salaries are doubled in line with the higher budgetary allocation, they will receive about US$360 a month.