MASVINGO - The recent announcement by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to defer civil servants' 2016 and 2017 bonuses has sent shock waves across the whole fraternity with the Progressive Teachers' Union (PTUZ) taking a front role in mobilising workers' unions to take the war to the government which has trembled upon them for so long.
PTUZ president Dr Takavafira Zhou said the government has declared war on civil servants and it is time all the civil servants fight from one corner so that they can be heard.
"This means war and we will retaliate. We cannot just fold our hands and watch the government treat us like rags.
"We have always called for dialogue with the government but it seems our plea always fall on deaf ears. Now they are telling us we will not be getting our bonuses which boggles the mind since we were never engaged over the development.
"Chinamasa cannot just experiment with us like that. Gone are the days we used to be suppressed and we kept quiet," said Dr Zhou.
He said they understand the government is hit by financial crisis but money for civil servants can be found if the employer was serious.
"The government has to cut its expenditure by weeding off some unnecessary posts and ministries. Imagine someone spends $200 000 on phone calls alone per month and they tell us there is no money.
"We are not going to accept that and we will take job action against this government. If they have failed why can't they pave way for others with new ideas? The government is oblivious to the fact that the civil servants they are messing with could be their downfall.
"They cannot tell us to tighten our belts while people like Saviour Kasukuwere and other corrupt ministers are loosening up their belts looting everything in their path," said Dr Zhou.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) Secretary General Japhet Moyo said the government has lost respect for its workers and it is time for workers to rise up and be heard.
"We were shocked by Chinamasa's revelations. He said the same thing last year in April and the President rubbished the claims assuring us of our bonuses. Chinamasa is at it again but the only mistake he made was failure to engage with us.
"We are engaging everybody and we have agreed to launch a massive industrial action registering our dissatisfaction towards the system which aims at imprisoning us," said Moyo.news