It's total madness!

HARARE - As rightly predicted by the Daily News on September 11 that President Robert Mugabe doesn’t care about anyone else or the economy except for his own well-being, the increasingly frail nonagenarian has overturned a decision to scrap bonuses by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Mugabe’s decision is not only shocking but goes to prove to all and sundry that he has completely sacrificed this country for selfish ends — to just play the messianic to civil servants that his government has been struggling to pay — but without coming up with a plan on how they will be paid.

It has been completely lost on Mugabe, or has it been, that he is the author of the current problems which have seen him being the target of demonstrations by angry Zimbabweans.

Mugabe has chosen to go the path of populism at a time when it is clear, including to his hangers-on, that the country has reached a dead end with him at the helm.

The fact that government is struggling to service its wage bill, which is gobbling 97 percent of the country’s budget, is telling enough of Zimbabwe’s dire situation where even banks are running out of money.

If his government has been struggling to pay the civil servants their monthly salaries, how on earth will it manage to pay bonuses and allowances, without upsetting the economy?

The current cash shortages can be traced to Mugabe’s ill-thought reversal of Chinamasa’s decision to suspend bonuses last year.

It is the worst kept secret that Treasury raided bank accounts at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to pay some of the outstanding bonuses — triggering panic in the economy.

Will Zimbabwe take the same route?

Or will the mooted bond notes introduction help him solve the civil servants payment headache?

Whatever is on Mugabe’s mind, it is too ghastly to contemplate.

Chinamasa made this decision cognisant of the fact that Zimbabwe’s economy is quickly shrinking to 2008 levels and that government coffers are virtually empty.

We are not against civil servants getting what rightfully belongs to them, but bonuses are earned and are not an inherent right.

By going against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prescription of right sizing the country’s burgeoning wage bill, it would be very difficult for Zimbabwe to convince anyone to support us financially.

An IMF standby arrangement gives the cue to key international financiers and investors to do business with the country.

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