CLAIMS by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube that civil servants were the highest paid workers in the country can only be expected from a delusional man who can’t separate fiction from reality.

Ncube on Thursday told Parliament that after awarding government workers a 41% pay hike, civil servants were now the most paid workers in the country.

Most people could have thought Ncube was joking, but he never apologised, but went ahead to grovel that government workers, with the least paid earning $14 000, were comfortably paid and now earn more than workers in the agricultural sector who are paid $5 000.

How could he compare professionals such as teachers, nurses, police officers and other civil servants with non-skilled farm workers?

Teachers have been demanding at least US$520, but Ncube’s offer fell way short of their demands, but Ncube had the guts to describe them as highly paid.

Why did Ncube not compare the government workers with their equals in the private sector such as accountants, marketers and others? Because it will be inconvenient?

It should be disheartening to all the government workers to learn that their paymaster is bragging of being the best employer when their earnings are below the poverty datum line of almost $21 000, according to the ZimStat’s latest figures.

The same Ncube once bragged of having managed a budget surplus when doctors and nurses were on a strike that lasted over 60 days. Ncube is approving price hikes on basic services by government agencies such as Zesa, Zinara, to mention a few, and yet he finds the strength to tell the workers earning less than US$150 that they are the most paid.

Ncube is living a lie and the earlier he comes back to his senses, the better for the country.

The minister should show respect for the civil servants who are toiling hard under difficult circumstances to keep government business running. They surely don’t deserve this mockery, but respect. The success of Zimbabwe depends on a motivated civil service.

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