Chaos batters Mugabe's govt

HARARE - The debilitating anarchy devouring President Robert Mugabe’s faction-torn Zanu PF is increasingly spilling into government, with the nonagenarian seemingly unable to mitigate the turmoil and ensure critically-needed policy coherence and consistency to lift the country out of its deepening economic crisis.

Analysts who spoke to the Daily News at the weekend said at the rate at which the chaos was pervading the government’s operations, as evidenced by the increasingly contradictory views and directives that were coming from Cabinet ministers, it was just a matter of time before the country’s economy collapsed altogether.

Commenting on the current wave of corporate right-sizing taking place in the country last week, Mugabe — and as is consistent with his ill-advised populist policies of the past 35 years — said his government was against the loss of jobs — but provided nothing by way of policy recommendations to keep stressed companies afloat.

The nonagenarian also warned that the law could be amended soon to protect workers, with analysts saying the president did not appear to appreciate that there would not be any jobs without viable companies.

“If the law is going to create problems for the people, that law must be amended. We do not want to see people on the streets and do not like people being fired from work. We are going to look at the law because the law is an ass,” Mugabe said.

Prominent human rights activist Dewa Mavhinga said the populist rhetoric and the policy incoherence, as seen in Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s Mid-term Fiscal Policy last week, meant that Zimbabwe was on “auto-pilot”.

“Like in Zanu PF, there is confusion in government. Look at what Mugabe is saying and what his ministers are saying and you get a sense that this country is on auto-pilot,” he said.

Presenting his Mid-term Fiscal policy, Chinamasa surprisingly expressed satisfaction with the country’s economic performance on one hand, and then went on to announce that it was time for the government and companies to face the harsh reality of the market and adjust their activities accordingly, on the other.

To compound the policy confusion, Chinamasa went on to contradict Mugabe and proposed the trimming of the government’s wage bill by a whopping 40 percent — something that can only realistically be achieved through the shedding of jobs.

Were this to happen, it would also bury the government’s much-discredited economic blueprint, ZimAsset — which among other key deliverables, seeks to create an impossible 2,2 million new jobs by 2018.

During the same week, the minister of Labour, Prisca Mupfumira, also said no one would be retrenched, with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa also assuring Parliament that government would move to amend the law to protect workers.

“If the minister (Mupfumira) was here, probably she could have told you of a legal way which is fast, that’s what you are asking, which we are pursuing to solve the issue,” Mnangagwa said after legislators had asked what the government was doing to look after workers.

However, and revealingly too, Mnangagwa said Mugabe would not use his presidential powers to stop ongoing job losses across commerce and industry as a result of the country’s comatose economy — a handy instrument that the nonagenarian used when the assets of the troubled Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) were recently facing the hammer.

Interestingly, the minister of Industry, Mike Bimha — reputedly a relative of controversial First Lady Grace Mugabe — was reported to have pragmatically given his thumbs up to the ongoing corporate rationalisations during the same week.

Addressing the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries in Gweru, Bimha said the job cuts were a sign that industry was groaning under the weight of harsh labours laws and the misfiring economy.

“Since the Supreme Court judgment, a lot has happened and we have seen many companies sacking workers. To me, it is a reflection that we had taken too long to reform our Labour Act and that such laws are rigid and not flexible for business.

“In some instances, you have a company going down and you have a scenario where workers who are retrenched are being awarded hefty packages.

“Where does the money come from? There should be flexibility when things are going down,” Bimha said.

In the meantime, and even as Mugabe continues to mouth off his populist rhetoric, it was reported at the weekend that a supermarket chain closely linked to Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, who is in charge of policy implementation in government, has also moved to right-size its operations and has let go about 100 workers.

Even parastatals such as the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara), the ailing National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the perennially-afflicted Air Zimbabwe have also taken advantage of the recent Supreme Court ruling to release hundreds of workers.

“The reality is that you cannot fix an economy in distress such as ours through decrees. That utopian world does not exist and the government is well advised to instead go back to the drawing board and come up with pragmatic, prudent and consistent policies that will spur economic growth.


“That is the only surest way to protect jobs, not this useless populist rhetoric which has only brought misery over the past 35 years,” a Bulawayo-based analyst said.

Comments (18)

This old madhara must be smoking some very powerful herbs, which allows him to escape reality. Perhaps he could share it with all Zimbabweans. Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

Musorodamba - 3 August 2015

Mugabe is just finished, he was deliberately misled by his wife and other called it bedroom coup. Now the judges are misleading him again in response there is much out cry. Tomana misled him again and that a child of 12 years can consent to sex. What a country.

amina - 3 August 2015

Mugabe is finished! There used to be a semblance of governance when he still had the energy. Now he is like a village donkey for the whole continent - almost like who-likes-rides.

KundaKinde - 3 August 2015

"Chaos batters Mugabe's govt" When a one man band crumbles what you see happening are the signs that the end is around the corner. Typicalof what happens in a country run by an individuals instead of the law. These individuals thinkthey are immortals whowill be there forever. Too bad for them all age has at last caught up with them and there is no way they can escape it. But sad for the nation - they have messed up everything that tothze extent that the chaos will likely worsen after they are gone. This is my fear. I can declare today that Mugabe`s legacy will be a chaotic and devided Zimbabwe prone to outside interference. The bvlame I lay it squarely on Mugabe himself. Some of us realised the man has become paronoid as far back as 1985. Whats surprises me is that up to now many Zimbabweans cannot see that.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 3 August 2015

I am no fan of Mugabe simply because his government is in no way smarter than the British settler regime that used its military muscle power to opress indigeneous Zimbabweans. I am making this statement in the light of accusations that a former British Prime Minister Edward Health is accused (posthumusly) of child abuse. That by itself catapults Mugabe to sainthood, which, I am afraid is not the case. Yes Mugabe could have been our saint if only he was good to Zimbabweans. Ofcourse he is nevewr good to Zimbabweans because he, and him alone, ushered in an era of corruption, misappropriation and looting of our resources. He centralised power to himself and made himself a demigod who is above the law. He has set-out an example that laws can be bent to suit individuals. That is the reason why it is dificult today for prosecutors to execute their job (dealing with law breakers) according to the law. They mind about the requirement to be alliegiant to Zanu-PF or precisely speaking, to Mugabe before referring to what the law says.

Masamba Akareyo -Tanganda - 3 August 2015

We have a cascade of failure right from the top. Everybody is becoming a vendor as a result of formal job loses. That by itself is a symptoms of a failed economy. A failed economy is by itself a symptom of a failed policies from a failed government. Now, Bob is your uncle. You know who? RG Mugabe is a Zanu-PF mafia Godfather who is obsessed with holding on to power without positive results and productivity for the country. The real question is, what are we as Zimbabweans going to do about it. Elections are just going to be rigged again! Now what?

Mbareboy - 3 August 2015

Shame on u Zanu. Without Tsvangis u will always embarass urselves. He helped u from 2008 to 2013 and u thought stealing elections was going to help. Look where the country is going. Dont u have eyes or u just don't care?

Dembo - 3 August 2015

THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN IS REAL AND IT IS SQUEEZING MUGABE HARD. IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE HE ACCEPT THAT HE HAS FAILED.

wILBERT mUKORI - 3 August 2015

It is a well know fact that Zimbabweans are extremely stupid, incompetent and lazy. Remember that Mullah Mugabe said that he was worse than Adolf Hitler. The typical Zimbabwean knows nothing about Hitler and his heinous crimes. Stupid Zimbabweans deserves what they get. They deserve the curse of Zanu pf.

Luckson Mukazhi - 4 August 2015

Not until such time as every stain of ZANU PF culture has been removed from politics, the military, police, prisons and Intelligence is there any hope of this country ever going forward and being happy and productive again. I wasn't a supporter of the former colonial regime but have to say that the schools, hospitals, roads, railways and the general standard of living was so much higher in those days compared to what it is today. Wriggle, twist, turn, and deny it as much and as loud as you like the statistics show that we are now a failed State caused by none other than our 90 year old President and the sick culture he imposed upon all of us.. It is now just too deeply entrenched and has become so destructive to our system and society. Not until such time as we are brave enough to evict them and thoroughly cleanse our system will we see any improvement.

Gibson Sarudzai - 4 August 2015

I ges my dear lucky mukazhi aint a true zimbabwean, coz if we were that stupid n lazy as yu rightly say, then there should no zimbabwe to talk of. we could all have died of hunger and starvation - for 35yrs this country has has been held at ransom by ruthless politicians who have not only murdered thousands, but also our hopes and efforts to a free economy. its sad we still have brothers who think us stupid, but sorry yu coz we're a people still with some energy to fight ZANU and Mugabe to the very end.

francis muzuva - 4 August 2015

Mbareboy,don't forget that zanu pf said that this country was brought by barrel and not through ballot box,what does that mean??We dont have choice and unless we remove our cowardice as youths,we and our children will die in poverty.We also need to take up arms to liberate ourselves period.

Murambwa - 4 August 2015

What does Mugabe mean when he says he does want to see people jobless? Three quaters of my generation (70s) have been on the street since finishing college in the late 90s! He is only seeing it now? Jesus!!! We are doomed!

greasemonkey - 4 August 2015

And PSMI employees continue to suffer with no salaries now 4 months in arrears. You wonder whether this leadership really cares about their employees. Patient are also dying especially in Bulawayo where there is no fully fledged hospital Psmas members are being turned away to mpilo or UBH. Mater dei hospital is owed lots of money PSMAS members have to pay cash which they do not have. You wonder whether this leadership cares about PSMAS members in Bulawayo. Harare has west end hospital and most specialists in Harare are paid and still accept PSMAS members in Bulawayo its not the case. Its better to fall sick if u are in Harare than any other place in Zimbabwe for a PSMAS member. Meanwhile some are concerned w power struggle which are not benefitting the employees or the members. What they don't seem to realize is that for them to have something to be fighting for its becoz of the members. On the other hand the Govt is bungling in the fights this is not good at all. No one even the Govt is fighting for the members.

Analystcommentator - 24 October 2015

And PSMI employees continue to suffer with no salaries now 4 months in arrears. You wonder whether this leadership really cares about their employees. Patient are also dying especially in Bulawayo where there is no fully fledged hospital Psmas members are being turned away to mpilo or UBH. Mater dei hospital is owed lots of money PSMAS members have to pay cash which they do not have. You wonder whether this leadership cares about PSMAS members in Bulawayo. Harare has west end hospital and most specialists in Harare are paid and still accept PSMAS members in Bulawayo its not the case. Its better to fall sick if u are in Harare than any other place in Zimbabwe for a PSMAS member. Meanwhile some are concerned w power struggle which are not benefitting the employees or the members. What they don't seem to realize is that for them to have something to be fighting for its becoz of the members. On the other hand the Govt is bungling in the fights this is not good at all. No one even the Govt is fighting for the members.

Analystcommentator - 24 October 2015

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