Government workers, including the military, police and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) earn less than $50 (R850) a month - although security officers get more favourable Covid-19 allowances compared to nurses and teachers.
Police officers that spoke to TimesLIVE said morale was low because of the meagre salaries and they are going to be deployed to police their families and friends who are faced with the same situation.
“How do you expect us to tell our friends what to do when we are hungry like them? In the past, we have had police officers also taking advantage of the chaos - especially during the January 2019 riots, where colleagues engaged in looting,” said one officer.
Journalist-activist Hopewell Chin’ono and opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume, leader of Transform Zimbabwe, were on Tuesday arrested on allegations of urging Zimbabweans to rise up.
Their arrests have drawn worldwide condemnation. The Elders, an international non-governmental organisation of public figures and elder statesmen, said in a statement: “We are closely monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe following the arrest of an opposition activist and local journalist. Inclusive dialogue and national renewal is only possible in a climate of transparency, trust, freedom of speech and rule of law.”
The Elders were in Zimbabwe in September last year to push for dialogue between Mnangagwa and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
Numerous diplomats and some within Zanu-PF feel Mnangagwa has failed to curb corruption and runaway inflation at a time when some within the party are losing faith in him.