Cut Cabinet, Mugabe told

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe should cut both his bloated Cabinet and costly foreign trips before his government moves to retrench civil servants as it is contemplating doing, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says.

Commenting in the wake of weekend revelations that government is set to wield the axe on tens of thousands of civil servants as part of a cocktail of measures to reduce its unsustainable wage bill, as it moves to re-engage international lenders, ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo told the Daily News yesterday that Mugabe should first justify the wages and perks of his bloated Cabinet before doing so.

“While there are a lot of ghost workers who must be removed from the government’s payroll, it is sad that those that are taking the biggest chunk of the budget, such as deputy ministers are left to continue enjoying the national cake,” Moyo said.

The Daily News’ sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday revealed at the weekend that the government has assured the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it will slash its high civil service wage bill.

But Moyo said the target must not be vulnerable low-ranking State employees because the government had a top-heavy setup that was draining the fiscus.

“Our Cabinet is the biggest in the region, if not the continent as a whole if one considers the size of the country.

“We have deputy ministers, for example, but there is never a time when they are called on to act as ministers when their bosses are not there, and one wonders why they were appointed to their positions in the first place.

“We have generals and commissioners in the security forces who have served since independence when they are supposed to have left the force after 20 years.

“The same applies to directors who have retired but have not left their offices and continue to enjoy government benefits, thus draining the fiscus. Our view is that it is those people who should be offloaded,” Moyo said.

The government recently dispatched auditors to schools, resulting in teachers who were found absent from their work stations having their salaries frozen.

In a letter to the IMF dated September 30, 2015 Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa told the Bretton Woods institution that the government would also be restructuring the country’s under-performing parastatals.

“We will keep the 2015 employment costs below budget projections. Cabinet is currently considering the report by the Civil Service Commission, containing proposals to streamline public sector employment,” he assured the IMF.

Another trade unionist, George Nkiwane, supported Moyo and said the government should consider doing away with some ministries or banding some together.

“After all the government is not going to be able to pay its workers retrenchment packages. If it is serious at all, then the government ought to consider the number of ministers and their deputies against the income base.

“Some ministries should become departments because some top government officials are getting hefty salaries yet they don’t work at all and are irrelevant to the country,” Nkiwane said.

The opposition MDC party is also on record urging Mugabe to look at other ways to curb its ballooning expenditure.

The MDC has, for example, accused the national youth service, commonly referred to as Green Bombers because of their penchant for unleashing violence against the opposition, of bloating the public wage bill even as they were employed for partisan purposes.

The youths are said to have been put on the government payroll at the behest of Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere when he was Youth minister, to serve Zanu PF interests.

It has also been revealed that the government workforce rose from about 315 000 in 2009 to about 554 00 this year.

Chinamasa said in his letter to the IMF that the government had set up a wage bill management committee to make proposals to reduce its salaries bill to the accepted level of 40 percent of expenditure over the next few years.

“Moreover, by end-2015 we expect to complete the decentralisation and modernisation of the Salary Service Bureau which would place a payroll assistant in every district, strengthening control over the wage bill and minimising irregularities.”

Comments (7)

M? ??s? ??? ????? ??s $8000 working 9 hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 29 hours a week. I ???? ??????? ??? ??s? ?? ??s ???? I ????? ?? ???.T??s ?s ??? I ??,...... This is what I do===>>w­w­w­.j­o­b­s­c­u­t­7­.c­o­m

bremand bremand - 28 October 2015

Can we pse have more factual reporting...for example what is the expenditure on these chefs in relation to the total wage bill that is cost of their cars, houses, hotel bills, allowances etc

Fathers - 29 October 2015

The journalists are spot on, just to add on what they have said: Their benfits are more than what they earn on a monthly basis. Mugabe created new unnecessary ministries that are a strain to the fiscus

Mentalist - 29 October 2015

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Taurai - 29 October 2015

Tet us look at just one sector only the PRESIDENT'S office. There are three presidents with three permanent secretaries in the presidents offices ,the back up staff that go with the permanent secretaries .There are three ministers and three deputy ministers,three permanent secretaries and other baking staff that go with the permanent secretaries in the presidents offices. There are government cars office equipment and government benefits that go along these duplicated posts . Mind you this is not all. At the end of the road all these people will get hefty retirement benefits . The retired presidents will get their full salaries .That means at the end of their term of office the nation will be paying six presidents per month every year .I am not talking about all these other duplicated posts of permanent secretaries and the like The funniest thing is that all ZANU PF members of parliament do not see anything wrong about all this

C H MOYO - 30 October 2015

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