Zimbabwe state employees to be paid in US dollars
The Zimbabwean government has decided civil servants will receive their salaries in US dollars in future. Hyperinflation has rendered the Zimbabwean dollar worthless. The government believes it is important for police officers, teachers and civil servants to receive a decent wage. The decision is the first to be taken by the government of national unity formed by President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC.
Zimbabwe's impoverished public servants received a surprise bonus yesterday when the new unity Government announced that they would be paid in US dollars rather than the worthless local currency.
In a deft move designed to outflank President Mugabe, Tendai Biti began his reign as Finance Minister by introducing US dollar vouchers for 130,000 soldiers, teachers, police and other civil servants.
Mr Biti said that state employees would receive a minimum of $100 (£70) this month, redeemable at designated banks. Soldiers received their pay cheques on Tuesday. Police, teachers and most of the Civil Service were paid yesterday and health workers can expect to collect their salaries today.
Civil servants such as teachers, nurses, doctors and even soldiers had earlier gone on strike demanding to be paid in hard currency.