Mugabe's govt faces shut down

HARARE - As Zimbabwe's economic meltdown accelerates, a catastrophic shutdown of important government functions is looming, with insiders telling the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that the cash squeeze that has been crippling the fiscus over the past two years has now reached a “crisis” point.

“Listen, we are in s..t (swear word for big trouble),” a senior government official with intimate knowledge of the treasury said resignedly, adding: “The economy is in free-fall and government coffers are running dry, and no one appears to have a clue of what to do. I fear for the worst”.

The despondent official spoke as government once again delayed payments to pensioners this month — who will now only get their meagre stipends mid next month — as the State battles to juggle its modest resources, amid the worsening economic crisis that has resulted in the closure of thousands of companies and the loss of hundreds of thousands of badly-needed jobs.

But the official who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday said the delayed payments to pensioners was “a picnic, as terrible as it is”, with his biggest fear being that the entire government machinery was perilously close to shutting down because of the debilitating cash squeeze.

“The big issue now, the way things are going, is when, not whether government will run out of cash to keep key services going and to pay civil servants such as the police and teachers. And here, I’m not talking of delayed payments, I’m talking of a complete inability to pay,” he said.

Another official said “all is not well in the state of Rome”, adding, “the money we were promised by our Chinese friends is not coming through, and the ongoing company closures and the recent job losses mean that government revenues are progressively getting less”.

The government currently spends three quarters of its $4,1 billion budget on the salaries of its employees, and so far this year, recurrent expenditure, mostly wages, have eaten up 96 percent of monthly revenues -- squeezing out essential capital expenditure.

Economist and opposition legislator, Eddie Cross, said yesterday that the state was now clearly “incapable of maintaining itself” and meeting its essential obligations.

“The consequences will be fully established by year end where we are likely to see hospitals unable to function, except as mortuaries, and schools becoming day care centres for young people who will not get any education. The Diaspora will struggle to feed their extended families back home,” he said.

“Internationally we remain as isolated as ever. Even the Chinese are saying that to qualify for their assistance we have to reform the way we do things. In the absence of fundamental political, social and economic reforms, there will be no possibility of any international assistance. The only option for Zimbabweans caught up in this spiralling crisis will be to flee and find refuge in other countries,” Cross added.

Analysts have said Zimbabwe has once again hit the depths of humanitarian and economic despair that were last experienced in 2008, when the country’s seemingly unending political crisis precipitated an economic meltdown of monumental proportions which culminated in the death of the Zimbabwe dollar and the establishment of the hope-inducing government of national unity.

Speaking recently in interviews with the Daily News on Sunday’s sister paper, the Daily News, the analysts said the only difference between then and now was that supermarkets were currently full of goods unlike seven years ago — although very few Zimbabweans were able to afford the goods as joblessness and poverty levels in the country continued to increase exponentially.

The analysts put the blame for the country’s escalating political and economic crisis at the door of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF, saying the ruling party had more appetite for its mindless factional and succession wars than resolving Zimbabwe’s myriad challenges and advancing the lives of long-suffering citizens.

Afghanistan-based analyst Maxwell Saungweme said unless “something dramatic” happened very soon, Zimbabwe was in fact headed for a political and socio-economic crisis that was worse than that experienced in 2008 when the country recorded one of the worst inflation levels ever reported anywhere in the world, where shop prices were literally changing by the minute.

“In 2008 we had our own currency to play with, though it was valueless, but this time around we have the US dollar which is hard to get for both the cash-strapped government and the people. Unemployment is also currently much, much higher than in 2008 and getting worse.

“Add to all this the fact that the government is more clueless this time than before, in terms of providing economic reprieve for the people. And donors have also cut back on support to civil society and non-governmental organisations that used to provide life-serving interventions.

“Politically, Zanu PF is more divided than before, to the extent that government is actually dysfunctional. Depressingly, even opposition political parties are also divided and can’t even lobby other governments to pay attention to the situation in the country. This is why I say we are heading for disaster,” a despairing Saungweme said.

Respected academic and political commentator Ibbo Mandaza said with Mugabe in power, there was little hope of the economy reviving any time soon.

“I hope it’s not going there (to 2008) and I hope something can be done. Clearly, we need a political solution, but as long as Mugabe is there, there is no hope,” he said bluntly.

Renowned economist John Robertson said the situation that currently obtained in the country was already “statistically worse” than that which prevailed in 2008.

“I think we’re back to 2008, and in some cases it is actually worse than 2008. On the employment front, the number of people who are unemployed now is worse than we had in 2008.

“Statistics show that we actually have the same employment figures as we had in 1968, almost 50 years ago. While two million jobs were supposed to be created, we only have about 700 000 people employed, of which half of them are employed by the government,” Robertson said.

He said the only reason why most people appeared not to realise the depths of the damage to the bleeding economy was that there were no shortages of goods in shops.

“The purchasing power for 2008 seems to be higher than now because wages were being paid and people had money to buy goods, though the goods were not available. Now people do not have money, but goods are available.

“It’s a process which has many contributing factors such as the cost of doing businesses, which is very high and which means that we can’t compete with imports,” Robertson said, adding that power shortages and poor investment policies had also crippled prospects for economic growth.

Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said while the situation may not necessarily go back to 2008, because of the mitigating factor of the US dollar that was the major currency of commerce in the country — and which meant that those few people who still had jobs and had a steady income could be spared the horrors of 2008 — Zimbabweans should not expect the country’s economy to improve with Mugabe in power.

“The Zimbabwe crisis is fundamentally a political problem. President Robert Mugabe must leave power, as it does not make sense to have a 91-year-old determining the future of the country. Where is his future? We need young and energetic people who have an understanding of the global economy to take charge.

“What we also need to do is to reform the politics of the country. Zanu PF is talking about liberalisation of the economy when they cannot appreciate liberal politics,” Ruhanya said.

Comments (60)

Sorry tateguru, encouraging youths to die for the country or independence is different from running a country. Your achievements is a mockery to the lives lost fighting the settler. I hate the settler, and you for being worse, I hate you stiff.

EL-DODO - 31 August 2015

Zimbabwe lies in ruins, only because of one old man who thinks he is the only leader God gave Zimbabwe

Big Meech Larry Hoover - 31 August 2015

Zanu pf knows very well how to rig elections to remain in power. But why are the so ignorant to these economical problems facing the country? The must put all their potential on solving the economy like what they do during elections. Are they happy to see the country struggling like this. This can be very simple. Let them give back those evicted farmers half of the land which was taken from them everthing is going to be okay. They refused to go when they lost elections and nothing was done against them and even if they can bring back farmers nothing will happen to them. They must throw away their black empowerment topic cos it is scaring away investors. If they want to do the right thing today our country can be alright very soon.

dembo - 31 August 2015

kutaura chete, chabuda hapana!!!

josphat mugadzaweta - 31 August 2015

It's a fact that Mugabe is a dictator. It is a fact that dictators around the world from the days of Hitler failed economically and politically. It's a fact that dictators have failed never leave power voluntarily no matter how bad the economic and political situation of the country may be. It is a fact that the end of Mugabe and the birth of democracy in Zimbabwe will end this economic, political and social problems in our country.

Ziziharinanyanga - 31 August 2015

There is no point in asking zanu pf to come up with a solution to the mess they have made. These fellows cannot gather enough guts to openly ask for our intervention to rescue them. And the only way we can rescue them and save the nation is TO ALL GO OUT TO THE NEAREST POLICE STATION AND DEMAND MUGABE AND ZANU PF' s STEPPING DOWN NOW

Bratee - 31 August 2015

uuuum apa pakaipa, but Makandiwa said lots of oil will be found so maybe we shall be okay soon

Mwari pindirai - 31 August 2015

We have dimonds and gold at the moment. Also we have a very productive land suitable to produce bumper harvests but we are poor and always beg for food from other countries. So even if a lot of oil can be there it is going to be for Zanu pf not Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe is for Zanu thugs u can see through the way they shared farms.

dembo - 31 August 2015

I foresee trouble now that we ar using the US dollar un officially from the US Tresurey we can not print the US dollar like we used to do with the Zim Dollar we can not even change the US Dollar to Zim colours so I think its going to be difficulty come 2016

Zim Dollar - 31 August 2015

why not just leave office

farai chauke - 31 August 2015

hahahaha Eddie Cross is just but a former employee to the Smith Regime and cant not tell us to flee our beloved country because of his fellow countryman created problems. we all know that Britain through MDC continues to sabotage all efforts by the Gvt of Zimbabwe to revive the economy and later on they go out of their way to find illegal informal market set up in a bid to create a criss in the media houses. The Republic of Zimbabwe is just but going to a recovery path and not what is being told by the Daily News that we going back to the sanction induced econic criss of 2008....Never............!!!!!!!

simon phoenix - 31 August 2015

Simon Phoenix: Sure blame everyone but the ones in charge. Typical. Pathetic. Pointless.

Nelson Mandela - 31 August 2015

So your friends the Chinese are not giving you money? Why would they..The ineptitude of the government is so gargantuan. It would be tantamount to throwing money into a black hole!

Ungfufu - 31 August 2015

Simon Phoenix, Why not just ask money from Zuma? South Africa still has plenty money because the whites are still running the industry. Won't be long before South Africa is a basket case like Zimbabwe. And Bob won't be alive much he should start begging Zuma sooner than later.

Cecil John Rhodes - 31 August 2015

Government coffers running dry? You are wrong. There is always money in government coffers, but Treasury will is in the habit of saying there is no money. Don't you see that they have a knack of miraculously finding lots of money when they want to buy the latest Mercs and double cabs for government officials. Why is it that upgrading the fleet for govt top brass is done as faithfully as the sun has always faithfully rose in the east every morning.

machakchaka - 31 August 2015

If these predictions materialise then Zimbabwe is heading for tough times. Without the printing press , cash bailouts and revenue declining as the economy continues to fall the situation is dire and very scary. Even if taxes are increased and the tax base is expanded the revenue to be collected as we move forward will fall due to diminishing returns. The employee dismissals, salary and wages reductions and subdued demand as a result of reduced disposable incomes will compound the situation. Without revenue growth govt has no choice but reduce its expenditures including reduction in head count.Its a bitter pill to swallow but they have no choice. The outlook for the Zimbwe economy and its people loook gloomy indeed.

David Jacobs - 31 August 2015

It is amazing how people in Zimbabwe can blame the settlers for this crisis. The Zimbabwe government were handed perhaps the most successful economy in Africa. They have spent the last 36 years reaping all that was sown pre independence. They have not even looked after Kariba. You cannot just keep taking nourishment from the soil that you so badly wanted and robbed from the settlers. You have had over thirty six years to do something with Zimbabwe. You always blame history for your own short comings. When are you going to move forward and use all those natural resources to create a manufacturing economy, instead of selling these ample raw materials to China to payoff your debt for their support of your war effort during the war of independence. Wake up and hold the right people accountable, as beating the same drum over colonialism has got you nowhere and never will it. Wipe your eyes and get on with it.

Stokkie - 31 August 2015

You deserve all the shit you caused!

FL - 31 August 2015

we in SA are heading the same way... as we also have.... " supposed leaders ".... all I can say... stop blaming everybody else for your own stupidity

alex - 31 August 2015

As the bible says in effect - what you sow, so shall you reap. Don't worry, when the pawpaw hits the fan Mugabe and his cronies will just just ship and go elsewhere and still blame the whites and the west for the mess they leave behind. Oh, guess what - his 'loyal' followers will be left with.........NOTHING. Well you can fool some of the people some of the time but it's only a A Zimbabwean you can fool 80% of the time, and get 're-elected'! And you're still allowed to breed..........

dave stedman - 1 September 2015

What's the point of complaining, if the government themselves are not doing anything about it. Our president lies in his bedandwakesup every morning and he has a job he's able to feed his family send his kids outside the country for studies, and has cold hearted hitler hardened heart. He has become the Hitler of the economy, he does not bother to identify the countries issues, if he is unable to carry on he should step down. I don't give a rats ass if he is wanted by theWorld Criminal court let it be, I'd rather have our country resurrecting than to be dragged down by a sadistical, dying man who has no sense of remorse. But don't worry world works with a saying what goes around comes back around. All will come down for him by making us suffer, you may suffer worse on your golden toilet.

Kuda - 1 September 2015

Mugabe cannot, and will not abdicate. He knows he will go straight to the Hague for his killing of the Matabele people. They have the evidence... they just cannot take him him until he is not in power. Pray for his health, may it fail and we will all be free of his madness.

Kevin - 1 September 2015

Ask the so called Freedom Fighters to feed you after they stole productive lands and jobs from hard working honest people. Those of us who were forced to leave because we were white can only sit back and think to ourselves, we saw this coming already in the eighties. We are now living in other countries around the world, our hearts ache. Reinstate what was stolen from the white Zimbabweans and invite us back home, Zimbabwe is still our home. We can make this a prosperous nation again, we can live side by side and work together. Skin colour was never a factor, Robert Mugabe made it one through greed and corruption. Test every ex Zimbabwean on this and you will be surprised?

Jon - 1 September 2015

There is a lot of good future for Zimbabwe, and it will come once a more moderate, business-friendly dispensation is in power. Many economic-exiles pray for the day they can return and work in their own country. There is lots of hope but ZANU has to make decisions that improve the economy - it is the only way that the man-in-the-street will get a better life.

Annetta - 2 September 2015

muchanaka nhaka, isu tine kumusha kana zvaoma tinonofudza mbudzi tiriko tichidya rukweza, hatina pressure nazvo. rasta life thus the way to go. isu chisalad, chiruzevha zvoase tinogona hameno imi makaputsa misha. isu chamuka inyama.

keme - 2 September 2015

muchanaka nhaka, isu tine kumusha kana zvaoma tinonofudza mbudzi tiriko tichidya rukweza, hatina pressure nazvo. rasta life thus the way to go. isu chisalad, chiruzevha zvoase tinogona hameno imi makaputsa misha. isu chamuka inyama.

keme - 2 September 2015

Mugabe MUST go. Then Zimbabwe can be helped. Zuma MUST go. Before South Africa reaches the same low point. We see the falling rand let that be a huge warning sign.

Michael Austin - 3 September 2015

Mugabe is a pathetic old man who's hanging on to power. He has effectively killed Zimbabwe. He & Zuma must go!! Zuma is slowly killing South Africa. They are both the biggest racists in history & they are the one's that do their level best to put whites & blacks against each other. Stop killing the farmers who are the ones giving us our food & get someone in power is not greedy & actually feels for both the countries. We can only pray that happens. If all colours stand together we can achieve almost anything.

Glynis - 3 September 2015

What a sorrowful state poor Zimbabwe and its people are in. However Mugabe and Zanu pf have brought the country to its knees and I am only surprised it has taken this long.

Joan Adams - 3 September 2015

I fondly remember that country when it was still Rhodesia.....

Catherine - 3 September 2015

Bob speak of liberation in SA,but the old fool cant liberate his own country.He should stay out of other countries and look after his own! Oh!My mistake,it was never his intention to build Zim,it was only to inrich himself.Your time is running out Bob,and remenber,you cant take an aircon. where you are going!

Tamsanqa - 3 September 2015

I saw this coming for a long time. Mugabe and Zuma must step down and face their trespasses and white genocide and the killing of innocent people. The truth will come out in the court of justice. Get rid of them NOW. South Africa wont survive another term under Zoema and his ANC corrupt government. And as for Robert Mugabe, well.......I told you so. You wont die in piece. Your killing of the Matebele will haunt you for ever. But the fact is that you must pay for your wrong doing against humanity.

Fires van Vuuren - 3 September 2015

I beg to differ with those who are saying we have reached crisis levels, If it was a veld fire I would surely litres and litres of fuel to hasten the burning and bring about a quick end. I dream of a day when everything shall come to a sudden halt, that day shall never be forgotten by the Zimbabweans. We have people in Zanu PF who think and believe that anyone else who is not Zanu PF is not a Zimbabwean. Iam not happy when I read these economists talking about an economic meltdown which in my view will never come. KEEP QUIET lest we label you "Prophets of Doom" Rather we wait for the doomsday than to be told about its coming.

Joshua Hondomsa - 3 September 2015

I would happily chip in to pay for Mugabe to be assassinated.

Zimlover - 4 September 2015

No point in going on and on about Mugabe and his limitations. What is the real structural solution? What are the first steps that should be taken to rebuild Zimbabwe (and no, 'getting rid of Mugs' isn't the right answer although it is an obvious first step.)

Delphine du Toit - 4 September 2015

you are obsessed Mugabe must go,you will harness nothing without actual solution to mugabe must go him we have life and hope for future 2018.kkkkkkkkkkk@

zimbabwean - 4 September 2015

kkkkkk my brother ,it wont be that easy to kill to assassinate mudhara. bvunza ana joice, ana gumbo ana mutasa neshamwari dzawo vakada kuzviedza vanokuudza

zimbbwean - 4 September 2015

The only solution is to get rid of all the whites in Zim. When all the whites have left Zim will die so much faster. After all the blacks have died from hunger and pests the whites can return and make Zim South Rhodesia again the food basket of Africa

John - 6 September 2015

Zimbabweans should get one thing straight & that is that ZANU-PF, MDC-T, Ndonga, MDC Renewal, People 1st (or whatever they want to call the new party are not above ZIMBABWE AS A COUNTRY AND NATION. The sooner that political leaders (in all these entities) accept their weaknesses; accept constructive criticism, then will Zimbabwe rise again. After all, ZANU-PF was not the 1st party within the then Rhodesia - there were so many others before it. So what makes us think and believe that ZANU-PF will/shall be the last?? Times change, environment changes, years move on & so forth and so on. Refusing to adapt to change will forever be our biggest mistake. LET' ZIMBABWE, its political leadership MOVE WITH THE TIMES. Only this way can the country (Zimbabwe) achieve its goal's. My heart bleeds for Zimbabwe's sake. I feel pain within but over and above I believe that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE if only we learn to accept change & criticism, regardless of where it comes from. I rest my case.

Mimi - 8 September 2015

They killed and chased the farmers out. Why should any farmer go back to Zim???? Been there the last 5 days. I will never go there again. Useless corrupt country

Herman du Plessis - 11 January 2016

only total idiots will deny the reality that zim was the breadbasket of africa when white farmers worked the land together with black zim personnel.....and those idiots prevail in the shona/mugabe fraternity. Get these people back and give them carte blanche to rebuild that beautiful country....WITHOUT the help of the chinese plunderers

garrie - 12 January 2016

Greed. Greed is the problem. Greed by a dictator and his cronies. The second problem is Zimbabwean citizens with no back bone! Not many opposes or opposed Mugabe over the past 10 or 15 years. The few that did had to do it alone! Thirdly, the lie that owning land or a business makes you rich. Land and businesses were given to people or take by people that want the so called riches that the previous owners had. They are living an illusion. Farmers is born to provide and supply; they are not farmers because they own property. Business owners running a business to make profit but to provide jobs and serve customers. If you are not committed to the principals of farming and retailing, you can own the country but you will be poor as a rat. The last point I want to make is corruption. Politicians, cops and other government officials are rotten to the core... as the leader of the pack. Nothing will change if the peoples attitude don't change. I visited Zim many times in my life and I still believe it to be one of the most diverse and beautiful countries. However, every visit showed the deterioration of the infrastructure, the rural communities, the cities, the farmlands and game parks. A dead fish stinks from the head first.

Njalabull - 12 January 2016

Good, racist pigs must suffer. atleast you got your farms to die on new.

Battousai - 12 January 2016

South Africa is on the same path as Zimbabwe so do not rely on Zuma for any help.

Davester - 12 January 2016

I used to work in Zimbabwe in 1990 and it use to be a beautiful Country with no problems between white and black until Mugabe had to win votes so he took the farms away from the most amazing Tabaco farmers in the world to give it to the uneducated masses that could not do anything with it so that they vote for him. Now the Country falls daily and they had to use the US$ after they always wanted to be so independent. Ha Ha. Now the world must help them again. Wake up people. People use politics to stir racial conflict to win votes.

White Zimbabwe business man from years ago - 13 January 2016

Supreme Leader of Africa Fiction By: Mr. Louis Partin Obama will be appointed as Supreme Leader of Africa by unanimous consents of all the people and leaders of Africa. As Supreme Leader of Africa, former President Obama will be mandated to lift all African people out of poverty, provide excellent education and medical facilities, and create a viable homeland for all marginalized and people of color around the world. As Supreme Leader Barrack Obama will be mandated to nationalize all the natural resources of the African continent to provide sufficient funds to lift Africa out of poverty. He will be tasked with eliminating all terrorist organizations in Africa. All former nations that colonized and enslaved African people will be mandated to pay funds in the form of reparations, and render technical and practical expertise to Africa to aid in its recovery and future progressive efforts. This new united African nation will take in all the refugees flooding the countries of Europe, giving them a decent place to live and opportunity to live in peace with their families and prosper. By being a receiving nation to all immigrants in the world, Africa will be a land of freedom and liberty to all people. The new African nation will defuse hot spots around the world by taking in people like the Palestinians, letting Israel build new settlements to their hearts content in the Holly Land. All present presidents of Africa will voluntarily step down, with the promise that they will be taken care of for the rest of their lives. There will be no more need for presidents of Africa to kill and maim their people because they want to stay in power past their term limits. Supreme Leader Barrack Obama will be appointed to an unlimited term as the leader of Africa, and will leave office when he deems his task complete, or when he sees fit to leave.

louis partin - 13 January 2016

Eat freedom. You fought for it, voted for it and now live it. Stop trying to sponge of the rest of the world for eternity. If you don't like it then start by kicking out the route cause RGM.

Fred - 13 January 2016

So ZANUPF took power and was going to show Africa how it was done , they failed , and blamed the past. I will use this excuse for all my failures. If I fail at something Ill blame the Boer War. If my kid turns out a mess Ill blame the Dutch for settling here.

Greg - 14 January 2016

Simon phoenix. .. you're an idiot! End of story

bob - 14 January 2016

How come Smith managed to run the country, with sanctions and the Rhodesian dollar was stronger than the rand even then... so many people, including whites, would love to make Zimbabwe work again.

Sponge - 15 January 2016

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