Don't blame sanctions: Mugabe

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe says it is now unpalatable to continue blaming sanctions for failure to adequately remunerate civil servants given the abundant mineral resources the country is endowed with.

Speaking at his belated birthday celebrations organised by the Civil  Service Commission at a local hotel on Friday, the 90-year-old Zanu PF leader told civil servants that government would honour its promise next month.

Mugabe said while sanctions had previously militated against efforts to improve government employees’ welfare, it cannot continue to be the reason for failure given the resources the country is endowed with.

“I will ensure that we don’t go back to the time of saying ah masanctions ndiwo ari kutitadzisa (sanctions are the reason why we are failing to pay civil servants),” said Mugabe.

“Maresources aripo (We have the resources), the gold sector for example, they are very easy to get money from unlike diamonds… With gold, we know the price of gold and must be sold to Fidelity.”

Civil servants were supposed to receive their February salaries backdated to January according to a pay deal they struck with government.

However, government has been shifting goal posts continuously.

Sanctions imposed on Mugabe’s government have been blamed by Zanu PF as the reason for their failure to honour the promises they made in the run up to last year’s elections.

Zanu PF has in the past blamed sanctions and its unity government partner, MDC, which was in charge of the Finance ministry, for failing to award civil servants salary increments.

But on Friday Mugabe said his government will re-organise the gold industry. He urged illegal gold dealers to get licensed and operate within the confines of the law.

He revealed that a lot of gold was being smuggled out of the country particularly to South Africa whose mineral resources he said were rapidly dwindling.

Mugabe also said government was mulling kicking out some gold mining companies to allow government to take over.

“Iye zvino kwanga kuine twukomana tunogarira kuborder reSouth Africa nekuti vanenge vaudzwa kuti tichauya naro gold nguva dzakati (Now we have foreigners waiting at the border with South Africa to receive gold from their local networks).

“And they take it to South Africa because their own mines are so deep, kilometres and kilometres deep,” he said.

The nonagenarian added that civil servants had sacrificed a lot under difficult circumstances especially during the hyperinflationary period.

“I don’t know kuti makararama sei. Isu vamwe tine minda nemagarden (I don’t know how you made it. Some of us could fall back on our land), but there are some who depend solely on their salaries.

“It’s our wish to have all our workers adequately compensated for the hard work, not only hard work but sacrifice that you have made,” Mugabe said.

Civil servants make up the country’s largest workforce at about 230 000.

They take home an average of $300 against a poverty datum line figure of $560.

In his 2014 National Budget statement presentation, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the salaries of civil servants alone were gobbling up nearly 75 percent of the State’s monthly income, a figure he said was too high.

Comments (15)

I am happy the ZANU-PF leader is getting tired of the "Sanctions" chorus. Stopping abuse of this excuse was long over due. And one more thing could we be told the truth all the time. It appears this (truth) is very deficient in this party.

Mabhengeza - 17 March 2014

leli xegu hayi bo lizalikhaba igabha kuphela

Nqwa - 17 March 2014

leli xegu hayi bo lizalikhaba igabha kuphela

Nqwa - 17 March 2014

A major climb down from our honourable President is required urgently for the sake of his people who are suffering. There is need for him and his party to take a new policy direction including returning to dialogue and diplomatic engagement with the US,and EU. Though embarrassing, to him and his party, one thing which we have all noted is that the standoff whether formally in the form of sanctions or otherwise, has affected all the people be it MDC, ZAPU, ZANU PF or MKD. The President likewise is President of all Zimbabweans. The President may find it a bitter pill to swallow that in this match his team has lost but this is a bitter truth. The West has never really lost to any of their opponents in history, not that they have always been right. I don't see us being the first victors over them. There is therefore a need to tactically admit this and create new options to map a way forward. The President loses nothing, rather his people stand to benefit. We need them as much as they need us.Differences may be there, but in any situation of this nature no party is willing to admit, and it takes character to admit even if one feels he/she is correct. Looking east may seem literally sound but practically the East is largely controlled by the West. The Eastern block has its challenges and in truth they are concerned of themselves. The President should also admit that there is a crisis which includes corruption, nepotism and other crimes mainly among his lieutenants. He should act immediately even if it means punishing his kith and kin. Finally the President should admit his mistakes. He and his GVT are humans and are not perfect.

mosquito - 17 March 2014

I don't know kuti makararama sei. Isu vamwe tine minda nemagarden (I don't know how you made it. Some of us could fall back on our land), but there are some who depend solely on their salaries.

Roy Gono - 17 March 2014

Mosquito you are off-topic: you and your reporter. The President has simply noted that the EU is now trading our Diamonds; this is enough confirmation that indeed sanctions were affecting the whole nation. Now for you 'Educated' urbanites who were all along feeding on the less enlightened Tsvangison and his party of daftism and lies about 'non-existent sanctions' must be ashamed. EU has acknowledged that sanctions were indeed illegally imposed.

ivhu kuvanhu - 17 March 2014

They are mimicking what you have been harping for the past 25 yrs and also looting like you do. Since when have you realised that our minerals are our economic saviour? Lets hope our Chinese friends and the military have not exhausted supplies at our resource bases. Do you still remember the forgotten Redcliff community Mr President ? The last time we checked, we were told the Zisco resuscitation was to start earnestly in Jan, 2014. The folks have now started to scavenge for food from trash cans and rubbish dumps while the beloved daughter is having a time of her life in the Seychelles.

top heavy - 17 March 2014

now you see what the people of Zimbabwe were always says , that the gvt is just find an excusing in failing to deliver suctions ,suctions lets wait and see if the civil sevants are going to get that money ,gold panning will never and and the smuggling of it is being done by big guys

mr honest - 17 March 2014

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CARTRIDGEGALLERY - 17 March 2014

Our economy has always been agriculture-based. We do not need diamonds nor gold. Netherlands, Germany, Belgium.. all do not have diamonds nor gold (nor oil). Replacing large scale farming with peasant farming was the worst thing we could ever have done. Those who have eminent domain on farms should be given title deeds and use that as collateral to purchase farming inputs. The idea that no-one 'owns' their farm but the government was short-sighted and reactionary.

RT Murehwa - 17 March 2014

its time the president steps done. The country is slowly coming to a halt. it seems for a lot of people the sun is shinning for the last time. if feel for all the people who have lost their jobs, no or delayed salaries, industrialists and the nation at large. it you are not in that situation its like hearing about a funeral in the north pole.....but it myt be you next. I really pray that God reveals himself in our country. i believe that the sun shines again.

onlooker - 18 March 2014

its time the president steps done. The country is slowly coming to a halt. it seems, for a lot of people the sun is shinning for the last time. I feel for all the people who have lost their jobs, no or delayed salaries, industrialists and the nation at large. If you are not yet in that situation its like hearing about a funeral in the north pole.....but it myt be you next. I really pray that God reveals Himself in our country. i believe that the sun will shine again. A new party is needed.

onlooker - 18 March 2014

Kavanhu, I wonder where you received an education? Seems to me you need to go back and repeat your basics! Sanctions were only targeted on criminal individuals and cartels which abound in this country and unfortunately diamonds are run by these criminal cartels and all the international commu nity asked was transparency and process monitoring which met resistance hence the targeted sanctions! Wake up fool!

Sabi - 18 March 2014

the President is right chokwadi chakanaka, becoz even chero muindustry vanga vakungoti masanctions vachinzvengakubhadhara vashandi, that's why tichavhotera vaMugabe vanotaura chokwadi, Biti also did correct thing kutaura chokwadi and ndichochinotivaka, zvekuramba munhu achiti rigging tiratidze rigging yacho toziva kwete kuvhiringa povo

VIGILANTE - 22 March 2014

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