The economic and currency instabilities in the country have devalued most Zimbabweans’ salaries to the point that most people, employed and unemployed alike, are now living far below the poverty datum line. The aforementioned currency instabilities have also resulted in large salary disparities across employers even for the same roles; in some cases, this is because these employers’ operations have also been affected by the ailing economy while other employers are simply taking advantage of the situation to cut down on their manpower costs. Either way, right now, it is difficult for anyone to be sure how much they are being paid compared to their counterparts who are employed elsewhere. I have therefore gathered a list of selected job roles together with their compensations.
Please note that this information was culled from several sources which include job notices and news publications published during the period between 15 June and the 31st of August. Also, note that during this period the official valuation of the local currency against the United States dollar steadily fell from 57.35 to 83.40.
The civil service
Government teachers: ZWL3800—4200
According to a Newsday story from the 3rd of August, teachers in government primary and high schools are said to be getting anywhere between ZWL3800 and ZWL4200 per month. Like for most civil servants, this figure is periodically buttressed by temporary allowances, one of which is a USD75 COVID-19 allowance which they are supposed to only get for 3 months (many recipients only started receiving their pay-outs towards the end of July). Of special note here is that, as of the time of writing, the vast majority of teachers have not been working since schools closed in March due to the pandemic.
Ever the controversial bunch in the country, the police, like their fellow security personnel in the prison services and armed forces are said to lately have been getting raises and allowances at rates that put their other counterparts’ in the civil service to shame. In early July Newsday reported that police officers were getting an average salary of ZWL3000 per month. Less than a week later the same publication reported that they, together with soldiers, were being “pampered” and were now getting salaries which ranged from ZWL5000 to ZWL8000 per month. In a latter article (the aforementioned one from the 3rd of August) Newsday reported that the police, soldiers and prison officers were netting between ZWL10000 and ZWL18000.
As of the 1st of July, it was reported that the lowest salary of a nurse working at a government health institution stood at around ZWD3000 in addition to the temporary USD75 COVID-19 allowance which all civil servants are entitled to.
Randomly sampled private-sector salaries
Due to the large number of small businesses (which include the informal, formal and semi-informal ones), there are even larger salary disparities in the private sector. While many people aspire to be employed by larger organisations which usually offer more attractive compensation (which is also usually accompanied by additional benefits such as medical aid and paid leave) these entities collectively employ far fewer people than all their smaller counterparts combined. This means that any salary statistics based on the figures offered by bigger organisations or their employees are often misleading. What follows here is, therefore, a random sampling of the salaries which are being advertised for a few selected roles in the private sector.
Assistant accountant: ZWL20000—51000
For several employment positions only advertised as those of “assistant accountant”, the most recent job postings peg the salary as follows; the lowest figure on the listings surveyed is ZWL20000 while the highest stands at ZWL51000.
SHEQ Officer: ZWL50000
Positions are available for Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Control officers in some companies for monthly salaries of around ZWL50000.
IT officer: ZWL30000
If the most recent and lone job posting for the position of Information and Technology officer is anything to go by, ZWL30000 is the going rate of the salary which accompanies the role locally.
Sales, marketing and administration: ZWL6000
ZWL6000 is being offered for this somewhat ambiguous role by a certain prospective employer.
Sales Executive: ZWL25000
Marketing degree holders are being offered a monthly compensation of ZWL25000 plus an additional commission based amount for the role of Sales Executive.
Intern (business development): ZWL4000
A recent ad for the position of a business development intern for recent varsity graduates is being offered by one firm for a monthly salary of ZWL4000.
Site manager (solar project): USD800
Another firm is offering USD800 per month for a site manager with the appropriate engineering degree to oversee its solar energy project.
Call centre/customer service positions
Several roles for customer service representatives are available for work at a call-centre and are accompanied by a salary offer of ZWD6000 per month. On the other hand, a customer service advisor in a similar environment (but presumably a completely different role) commands between ZWL22500 and ZWL30000 per month.
One of the most infamous job interview questions is the one where the interviewer asks the applicant what salary they would like to be paid. This seemingly innocent question can, even at the best of times, feel like a very uncomfortable mind game. If the selection process is competitive, as most usually are, it can even be the one question that trips the interviewee over. Hopefully, at least now you will have a more realistic response if you ever encounter that question.