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» » » Agric ministry staff demand Covid-19 risk allowance


….‘we are drivers of Pfumvudza’

Upenyu Chaota

The Zimbabwe Agricultural Professional and Technical Association (ZAPTA), who represent members from the Ministry of Agriculture, is knocking on the Minister of Finance Professor Mthuli Ncube’s door demanding a share of the Covid-19 risk allowance cake.

ZAPTA said member of staff in the Ministry of Agriculture were the backbone of the economy; working with communities non-stop, driving the government’s Pfumvudza programme.

They argue that despite their enormous contribution to the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, government has failed to provide them with risk allowances.

In a letter to Ncube, dated November 11, ZAPTA secretary general Zivaishe Zhou says while other civil servants were receiving risk allowances, Agriculture staff are ignored.

“This has seen the nation progressing in its initiatives in combating hunger and starvation. This attracts the need to offer COVID-19 risk allowances to agricultural staff as well. Your good ministry is known of striving towards uplifting its stakeholders which also include agricultural employees.

“So many times agricultural employees have been left out yet they are the ones feeding the nation. As ZAPTA, we propose for at least 50% of risk allowance because we have been interacting with farmers since the pandemic of COVID-19 started.

“The salary increment announced by the government is far less than our expectations. It is just a drop in an ocean. The increase is procedurally defective and grossly insufficient in quantum,” reads the letter.

ZAPTA says that its commitment, despite the existence of the Covid-19 pandemic, had seen the nation making positive strides towards ensuring food security.

“ZAPTA would like to express its concerns over 10 percent risk allowances that your Ministry has committed to offer to all government teachers.

“It’s a noble idea and appreciated. ZAPTA represent members in the Ministry of Agriculture in which you join hands with in order to meet economic objectives through improvement of agricultural production and enhancement of food security.

“Members in the ministry have been working since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our members are the drivers of the Pfumvudza programme since its inception and this gives us confidence in this request,” reads the letter.

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