Zimbabwe civil servants to get salary in foreign currency

February 12th, 2009 - 2:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Harare, Feb 12 (Xinhua) Zimbabwe’s new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said that starting this month all civil servants would be paid in foreign currency.
“By the end of this month all civil servants will start receiving their salaries in foreign currency until a situation where we are able to sustain ourselves,” he said.

Zimbabwe has the world’s highest official inflation. Last week, Zimbabwe’s central bank released a new 50-billion note in the country’s currency. It was worth only $1.25 on the black market.

In his inaugural address as premier, Tsvangirai told thousands of people in Harare that the move was aimed at cushioning workers against hyperinflation.

He said most civil servants such as nurses, soldiers and the police force had in recent years stopped going to work, as their salaries were not enough to cover their daily needs that included transport and housing.

Tsvangirai also urged all civil servants, particularly teachers to report for work Monday as the transitional government would address their needs.

“We ask every one to go back to work on Monday. Schools should also reopen on Monday,” he said.

Tsvangirai assumed his new post as the country’s prime minister Wednesday after being sworn in by President Robert Mugabe at State House.

Regional leaders and the international community witnessed the event, which is expected to help turn around the country and bring stability to Zimbabwe.

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