The inaugural Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) meeting today agreed on other major matters that need to be tackled to address the economic challenges that Zimbabwe is facing except the issue of eroded wages and salaries.
The TNF, which brings together the government, business and labour, agreed on the need for the government to stick to its monetary, fiscal and inflation reduction targets that were outlined in the 2020 national budget as well as foreign exchange mobilisation and management.
Labour and Social Services Minister Paul Mavima said it was also agreed that the government should expedite agreed reforms of the public sector and parastatals.
Boosting productivity and production through operationalisation of the National Productivity Institute and expediting ease of doing business reforms was also settled on as key to improving performance of the economy.
“The partners agreed to revamp the social services delivery system, focusing on education, health, shelter and food security including the establishment of a National Health Insurance Scheme,” Mavima said.
The partners however became stuck on wages and salaries, postponing it to this Friday to be dealt with as a separate issue by the TNF’s technical committee, Mavima said.
“On the issue of the erosion of wages and salaries, the meeting mandated the technical committee to further examine the matter with a view to reconvene and conclude the matter on Friday, 7 February, 2020,” he said.
Sources who attended the meeting said business was the main stumbling block on reaching a common position on the issue, as the government and labour appeared to be on the same side.
The high cost of living which has seen prices of basic goods shooting through the roof has made adjustment of salaries a major issue for workers as they want to be cushioned against the hardships that they are experiencing.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube led the government team, while Israel Murefu of the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe and Peter Mutasa of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions led the teams from business and labour respectively.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, as well as Industry and Commerce Minster, Sekai Nzenza were in the government delegation, while Cecelia Alexander of the Civil Service Apex Council led representatives of government workers. –New Ziana