Agricultural extension officers around the country have threatened to go on a strike after the government failed to give them COVID-19 Beitbridge Council Workers Strike Over COVID-19 Allowances risk allowances.
iAfrica24 reported sources saying the extension workers alleged that even though they risked their lives in educating peasant farmers about Pfumvudza at the height of the coronavirus outbreak, they got nothing while office workers were paid over $20 000 as COVID-19 risk allowances. A source is quoted as having said:
We risked our families by hosting these agricultural demonstrations with farmers when the country was on level five lockdown, but the government chose to pay those who were in offices COVID-19 risk allowances including those in the human resources department and general hands.
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This government has reduced us to farm workers. We do all the donkey work, for example, crop and livestock assessment but we are not paid anything.
Is this government different from the government that runs hospitals whereby staff is paid handsomely for just collecting information just like us?
They are now focusing on advertising Pfumvudza on every platform, but they are forgetting those who implemented and made the Pfumvudza programme a success.
With no PEPs and other protective clothing, we managed to train farmers countrywide.
The permanent secretary for the Agriculture, Lands, Water and Rural Resettlement ministry John Bhasera confirmed the matter, but refused to comment and referred questions to the Public Service Commission.