It has been reported on social and traditional media that a Zimbabwean academic has declined a senior lecturership appointment given him by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
In a letter declining the offer by the university, Dr Matthew Chiwaridzo is reported to have stated that the annual salary of Ghc 55,104.05 (USD 760.00 per month) is not comparable to a monthly basic salary of a Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe (ZWL 1,293,708.00 per annum: USD 1.283 per month).
The Zimbabwean academic is reported to have said
“Please note that I am currently in the Senior Lecturer grade (ZWL 1, 561 248.00 per annum; USD 1.500 per month) at the University of Zimbabwe by virtue of having a doctorate degree specialising in Physiotherapy, 35 publications, 2 awarded grant projects and 7 years of satisfactory teaching, industrialisation, innovation and research experience. It is for this economical reason that I decline the offer of employment at KNUST and will want to explore other opportunities.”
This salary comparison purported to have been made by the Zimbabwean academic is very shallow and lame. It is not enough for him to compare only the basic salaries of the two universities.
For any serious and accurate analysis, further particulars are required to put the necessary interpretation to the letter declining the job opportunity at KNUST.
One will wonder why the Zimbabwean academic will compare only basic salaries. We wish to inform Dr Matthew Chiwaridzo that in addition to the basic salary in KNUST and Ghanaian public universities in general, there are other allowances and benefits for senior lecturers.
We believe that KNUST included all of those allowances in the letter of appointment given to all prospective employees of the university as that is the usual administrative procedure in Ghana.
It will be fair to all of us if the Zimbabwean academic compares not only the basic salaries of KNUST and his university in Zimbabwe but also provide the totality of the allowances and other benefits associated with the employment in both universities.
It is after that is done that his reason articulated in the circulated letter will be meaningful and valid.
In the absence of that, I think we should all flush that letter down the water closet as the Zimbabwean academic has not done us any service.
Lecturers in Ghana are not where they ought to be as far as their salaries are concerned. They aspire more and that is legitimate. But the story of the Ghanaian lecturer cannot be told better by a Zimbabwean academic who thinks it is better to carry 50kg bag full of Zimbabwean Dollars to buy a loaf of bread than for that same item to be purchased with a Ghc 5 note.