Screws tighten on Mugabe, Zanu PF

HARARE - Faced with mounting national problems — including a collapsing economy, worsening poverty levels and escalating infighting within the ruling Zanu PF — analysts say the end could be nigh for President Robert Mugabe if he does not move quickly to arrest the rot.

These sentiments come as civil service unions who spoke to the Daily News on Tuesday voiced their anger at their deteriorating conditions of work, amid dire warnings by commentators that the signs for Zimbabwe going forward were not good as both the political and economic prospects for the country looked decidedly dim.

Over the past few days alone, hundreds of workers belonging to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) have taken to the streets to demand that Mugabe fixes the country’s comatose economy and fulfill Zanu PF’s 2013 election promises to create more than two million jobs.

The workers were also protesting against proposed salary and job cuts for civil servants, in a country where the majority of families have to make do with an income of less than $200 a month — which is well below the poverty datum line of more than $500.

In addition, Mugabe’s broke government has just announced that it will no longer pay bonuses to its civil servants as the economy — hit hard by liquidity challenges and the closure of thousands of tax-paying companies — continues to decline precipitously.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announced on Monday that the decision to scrape the much-coveted 13th cheque for civil servants would only be reviewed in 2017, a politically convenient time just ahead of the 2018 national elections.

Yesterday, the Zimbabwe statistical agency (Zimstat) said more than 30 100 employees lost their jobs last year in the mining and manufacturing sectors alone, as the country’s economy continues to bleed.

“There has been a decline in the number of people employed in the manufacturing sector from 118 600 employees to 93 100 in 2014 and the mining sector from 43 000 employees to 38 400,” said Zimstat director general Mutasa Dzinotizei.

At the same time, South African President Jacob Zuma’s ruling African

National Congress (ANC) has moved to distance itself from Zanu PF — only a week after Mugabe was in Pretoria on a visit that was given undue ad nauseam coverage by lickspittle State media.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said pointedly earlier this week that his party did not share many of Zanu PF’s policies and ideological stances.

“When it comes to our attitudes we theorise colonialisation differently to Zanu PF. That is why the ANC government will not use this approach of if a white man owns a farm it is revolutionary to kick that white farmer out and occupy it...,” Mantashe said.

This came after Mugabe, while on his two-day State visit to South Africa last week, refused to speak to journalists when he saw a “white face” while taking a tour of the Hector Pieterson Memorial museum, in the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive officer, Sifiso Ndlovu, told the Daily News yesterday that the fact that Chinamasa had said government would only review its bonus position in 2017 meant that Zanu PF wanted to use the bonus as an electioneering tool in 2018.

“What we are seeing here is a government that is arrogant and treats its employees with contempt. We take their proposal to reconsider their position in 2017 with suspicion that they are playing tricks. 2017 is strategic for them in that it is bound to be an election issue,” Ndlovu said.

He also accused government of making unilateral decisions, adding that what had irked them the most was that the announcement on bonuses came after a civil servants’ meeting with government representatives in a joint negotiating forum meeting last week.

“Such drastic decisions need thorough consultations and such unilateralism flies in the face of the democracy that government purports to champion.

“We were in talks with government only last week where very trivial issues came up when on the sidelines of the meeting was lurking such a fundamental issue. It does not help them as it breeds anger, frustration and general despondency,” Ndlovu said.

College lecturers also bemoaned the absence of consultation when the government decided on its bonus position.

“It sends the wrong signal as to how government treats its workers. While we appreciate that the employer is facing challenges, it would have been prudent to engage us first in the national joint negotiating forum but that did not happen.

“We will be consulting our membership as well as meeting as the Apex Council to decide on the way forward,” said David Dzatsunga, the College Lecturers Association president.

Dzatsunga’s sentiments were also echoed by Mugove Chipfurutse, the organising secretary of the Zimbabwe Nurses Association who said nurses would also convene an urgent meeting to come up with an appropriate response.

“It is shocking if it is true, because there was never communication in the form of a policy circular as is the norm when the employer has come up with a new policy. A 13th cheque is a right not a privilege which they can use at their own discretion,” Chipfurutse said.

But Econometer Global capital head of research Christopher Mugaga said doing away with the 13th cheque under the current circumstance was one of the most impressive things that had occurred for the economy in a long time.

“However, one thing that is worrisome in all this is the decision to set the deadline to review the position in 2017 towards election time,” he said, adding that this would leave people wondering whether it was not one of the usual populist pronouncements by government meant to win it votes.

“Will the economy have recovered in 2017? What is the rationale of setting the deadline at 2017? Why don’t we have the 13th cheque suspended indefinitely until that time when the fiscal space has been freed fully?” he queried.

Mugaga also noted that the suspension of the bonuses had hammered home the reality that there were no jobs, contrary to Zimstat’s position that the country’s unemployment rate was standing at an improbable 11,1 percent.

“Going forward, I am afraid the minister will be forced onto other austerity measures as the 13th cheque issue will not by itself solve the myriad challenges facing the economy.

“The minister has been reduced to a wages clerk and the next thing he will do is to seek to extend the month to 40 days and it’s not healthy for him.

“Bonuses are only for one month, yet Chinamasa must have 12 months a year to pay civil servants and I don’t think government has capacity to even pay the salaries,” Mugaga said.

Comments (36)

Dont forget the drought stricken villagers needing free grain...

jacktheswede - 16 April 2015

Ndiko kutonga kwacho

Don king - 16 April 2015

Ndiko kutonga kwacho

Don king - 16 April 2015

i really appreciate yo strategy

maingehama chris - 16 April 2015

introspect

ill advised - 16 April 2015

tosiira zvese kumusiki

ngashe - 16 April 2015

you can rig elections, beat people into submission and force your way into remaining in government but you can never rig the economy nor can you continue to fool the whole world that "sanctions" are killing us... Zimbabweans are dying en-mass due to xenophobic attacks in RSA, precisely because of the failures of our government. I blame technocrats, smart people like Jonathan Moyo, and a few military guys for propping this regime. Mugabe failed before he became prime minister in 1980 and should have never been allowed to run the country. He has never loved Zimbabwe, never will. He only cares about himself and his family interests. As zimbos, we have an obligation to right this wrong.

tino16 - 16 April 2015

with all this happening, WHY was the herald editor fired with the story on the 1st page that said the "Febrary inflation points to a dying economy" Bring that editor back. HE IS A HERO, Even if you dont bring him back, He deserves a million $$$$ for accepting the truth.

springboard - 16 April 2015

You will predict the collapse of the economy until elections in 2018. Your party of choice, the MDC - T ,will be defeated and the cycle will begin again!

godfrey gudo - 16 April 2015

Pasi naMugabe! A Malawian by origin.

Tovera Zimuto - 16 April 2015

Munhu uyu ndewekuMalawi zveshuwa here? Ko mutupo wekuti gushungo ndewekupi? Zvakaoma kuti sei aine mwoyo wakaoma kudaro.

Hameno - 16 April 2015

WE NEED F.D.I ASAP TO RESCUE OUR FREE FALL ECONOMY

ZIMBABWE YAKASUNUNGUKA - 16 April 2015

Lets deal with ghost workers

chitayitayi - 16 April 2015

dai vakasadzinga havo mauntrained teachers,

DMS - 16 April 2015

I tend to agree with the person who said Zanu is incapable of running a country, but very good at manipulating people. Completely bankrupt individuals only good at looting.

moe_sycslack - 16 April 2015

Lets be grateful atleast our president is not a womaniser saTsvangson. Tingadai tichinetswa nengochani tisina kanachinonzi sovereinity

CDe - 16 April 2015

Sovereignty inodyiwa here nhai Cde

Andrew - 16 April 2015

Sovereignty inodyiwa here nhai Cde

Andrew - 16 April 2015

gudo unogara sango ripiko? you talk of predicting the fall of the economy while its already down. Is there an economy to talk about? Zim is dead!

chamunorwa - 16 April 2015

@tover zimuto... Ko kana ari wekuMalawi zvinei? I really wish it is true! Hatidi Xenophobia. Malawians have contributed zvakasimba in the development of Zimbabwe in all sphères of life. Tichangotonga kusvika maneta!! They also died for this country mhani!! Tibvirei apa... tinongomuvhotera and there is no way you will ever get rid of us!... Takawanda uye tinongoshandisa ma surname emuZimbabwe... hezvi mavakubvunza kuti hee Gushungo.. Tizere munenge muchifunga kuti tirvana museyamwa!

Proud Mubhurandayi Akakwana - 16 April 2015

12 degrees still stupid no common sense in him to say i have failed let me step down , A fool is a fool no matter how many degrees he can have . Mugabe is idiot, blind, very old and very sick as such every decision he makes is weak and unrealistic which is obvious for a 91 year human being who is never living naturally but artificially through tablets made by whites he dislike so much , I am sorry that civil workers will not get bonus but happy that cio who kidnapped Itai will not get bonus even if they get it, it will be pain full to enjoy money from such ways .

Diibulaanyika - 16 April 2015

Lets say the truth here there is no economy to talk about here let the old man go kwaZvimba kunochengeta nguruve achimirira vazukuru.....KKKKKK

Sylvester Taruvinga - 16 April 2015

What stupid reporting. A 91 year old is expected to sort out screws? You are out of your mind.

didimusi - 16 April 2015

What stupid reporting. A 91 year old is expected to sort out screws? You are out of your mind.

didimusi - 16 April 2015

Zanu is a bunch of losers...there policies are meant to be benefit themselves. This is the minority rule.....dictatorial..Time will tell.....even Gadaffi thought he was God himself look the way his life ended....I will never appreciate Mugabe's long term rule...its only Zimbabwe which does not have former presidents...hahahahaha ....Intelligence and wisdom are two different scenarios...the likes of Jonathan Moyo they are intelligent but lacks wisdom....May God bless us ill treated Zimbabweans

Disgruntled Zimbabwean. - 17 April 2015

kikiki, kapepa aka katozara nevarwere vanokashandira. Basa rekungonyora Drama isina royalties everyday, kikiki. Script after script and yet no production.

reason - 17 April 2015

Sure here kuti Mugabe muBhurandaya ndesaka zvinhu muno zvichinetsa kudai nekuti mudzimu yakatsamwa

peter - 17 April 2015

No normal person can believe that Mugabe will create 2 million jobs. Zimbabweans if you voted believing this you should be assessed by a psychiatrist. You must be mentally sick. After 35 years, bringing this good country to its knees. Then you believe he can do something now. He is too Old to understand any economic issues. He is gone can"t you see?

Ephraim - 17 April 2015

its disheartening to see the Zimbabwean Economy collapsing when we have the intellectuals here in the mother land.Why cant this Mugabe regime just surrender and give a nod to other political parties and see what comes out of them.GO MUGABE GO......GO ZANU PF GO..................GO FAILURES GO

trymore wepaChikomba - 17 April 2015

The problem with us Zimbabweans is that we are cowards to ourselves. Almost everybody knows what the country needs but nobody is taking appropriate action to rectify the situation. For how long must we expect change without any action? Fear does not lead us anywhere.

Nyasha Kadzimu - 17 April 2015

zimbabwe haina kumbowana independence since 1980 it was only change of power from brutal whites to brutal zanu people,if we go back zanu yakazviratidza yega kuti they are ment o kill people with gukurahundi it show everything hee AIP,MOZA.Vanotengerana maRange Rover kusvika zvanaka

mapfupaevakauraiwa - 18 April 2015

sovereign haidyiwi but inoita kuti udye. sokuti poto haidyiwi asi kuti udye unoida. saka tinoda soverenity kuti tidye. zvino ikawana vanhu vakaivenga haitipi zvekudya zvakawanda sokuti vanhu vakarwira poto yekubikira hapabikwi vanhu vakatofa nenzara. now first thing is first sovereignity pamberi

gandainyama - 20 April 2015

kana economy yezimbabwe ichitora 35 yrs to collapse saka ndinoti vamugabe is a genius. viva. other economies like Greece took months... a collapsing economy is a tired statement yamakashandisa in 1999 tikambokuvhoterayi. nanhasi hamusati machinja statement. asi ndiyo manifesto yenyu kanhi?

gandainyama - 20 April 2015

Gandainyama is a shallow minded brainwashed Zanu PF stooge who cant think beyond one night. Silly bugger!

Big Meech Larry Hoover - 23 April 2015

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