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Tuesday, 30 November, 1999, 20:01 GMT
Huge pay rises for Zimbabwe's cabinet
Zimbabwe air plane Intervention in Congo is affecting Zimbabwe's economy

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has awarded big pay rises to MPs, ministers and top civil as the the country faces its worse economic crisis in two decades.

MPs will get an increase of 300%, while cabinet ministers get a 200% salary hike.

The salary rises and perks would be backdated to July, said an announcement in the Extraordinary Government Gazette.

Zimbabwe is struggling with an inflation rate of 70%, interest rates of more than 60% and unemployment rates of more than 50%

Earlier in the year, the government announced MPs and ministers would receive large pay rises, but the size of the increases has been condemned by Zimbabwe's Congress of Trade Unions.

"We cannot support it when civil servants were denied 20% cost of living allowances earlier in the year," said Nomore Sibanda, the spokesman for the union group.

Doctors recently went on strike for six weeks, protesting at salaries of about $400 a month.

Economic problems

Mugabe Critics say President Mugabe is not accountable enough
Correspondents say the move is likely to dismay many ordinary people and worry international donors who are demanding more accountability and transparency in Zimbabwe's economic affairs.

An MP will now see his basic salary rising to 426,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($11,240) a year while a cabinet minister's annual pay jumps from 213,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($5,620) to 640,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($16,886).

The government printers say another announcement dealing with President Mugabe's salary will be published later.

Many foreign donors, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, have suspended aid to Zimbabwe's Government, critical of the country's economic management, and in particular Zimbabwe's intervention in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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See also:
02 Oct 99 |  Africa
Zimbabwe doctors stay out
25 Nov 99 |  Africa
Zimbabwe losses add up in Congo
29 Nov 99 |  Africa
Reforms could reduce Mugabe's powers
01 Dec 98 |  Africa
Zimbabwe government faces economic anger
19 Nov 99 |  Africa
Zimbabwe constitution: Just a bit of paper?

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