Mugabe humiliates Chinamasa again

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s stone-broke and ever bumbling government has effectively hammered the final nail in the coffin of the country’s dying economy, after the nonagenarian reversed all the measures that Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announced last week, as he valiantly attempted to haul Zimbabwe back from the abyss.

The government’s spectacular own goal, which sent shock waves throughout the country, not only puts Chinamasa’s future in government in doubt afresh — after the under pressure Treasury chief was similarly humiliated last year — it also possibly marks the end of the road for Zimbabwe in its stuttering efforts to access funds from the international community.

Crucially, economists told the Daily News yesterday, it also fatally undermined today’s Monetary Policy Statement which is to be announced by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya, ahead of the introduction of the much-distrusted bond notes next month — meant to mitigate the country’s worsening cash shortages.

In his mid-term fiscal policy review statement that he made last week, Chinamasa  scrapped bonuses for this year and next year for all public workers as part of a raft of  austerity measures that included the pending retrenchments of tens of thousands of civil servants and the cutting of salaries of senior government officials.

But not for the first time, Mugabe would have none of this, with his clueless government announcing late on Tuesday that this had all been a cheap publicity stunt.

“After extensive deliberations, cost cutting measures relating to the civil service were rejected and the position of Cabinet is that the minister of Finance and Economic Development did not take into account the rejection by Cabinet earlier on.

“The president and Cabinet want to assure civil servants, farmers and the public at large that these proposed measures are not friendly operative. It is hoped that this clarification puts to rest anxieties that may have arisen within the civil service, the farming community and the public at large,” it said to the disbelief of the nation.

Respected University of Zimbabwe politics lecturer, Eldred Masunungure, was among those who felt that Mugabe’s decision to reverse Chinamasa’s statement could mark the beginning of the end of the Zanu PF government.

“This is going to do irreparable harm to the country’s efforts to re-engage with the West. That Chinamasa’s statement has been reversed on such a whim is very bad and means that no one is going to trust us anymore. The move is going to shoot down all re-engagement efforts. In a nutshell, what this means is that we have come to the end of the road.

“This is also yet another signal that the centre is not holding anymore. You cannot have a minister announcing this today and a week later the Cabinet refutes that statement,” Masunungure told the Daily News.

“I cannot imagine that the announcement that was made by Chinamasa had once again been made without consultation. The reversal is a sad illustration of a dysfunctional government and bodes ill for the future of the country,” he added.

Economist John Robertson said the government’s decision to go against Chinamasa was “a recipe for disaster” as it would hammer investor confidence.

“When the economy is shrinking it is not economically prudent to be paying bonuses. Where there is conflict between the Finance minister and the president there will also be an inevitable destabilisation of the economy, as this dents investor confidence,” Robertson said.

He urged Chinamasa to defy Mugabe and stick to his guns by implementing his reforms which, the veteran economist described as “pragmatic”.

“It won’t be surprising if the president also goes on to reverse the decision to lay off 25 000 government workers. The minister, under such circumstances, should stand up for his beliefs. He should not spend money which he doesn’t have,” Robertson said.

Former Finance minister Simba Makoni also dismissed suggestions that the decision to suspend bonuses had not been agreed to by Mugabe, saying the nonagenarian was playing his “usual populist politics’’ to win favour with civil servants ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

“Mugabe cannot continue to play games with Zimbabweans because we are not fools. He should not believe that he can get favour with civil servants by disowning his Finance minister now, because Zimbabweans know that he is a coward who cannot face reality and that he has played this game of appeasement for a long time now,” Makoni said.

Zimbabwe has been struggling to pay its civil servants in the face of falling revenues and the country’s dying economy.

Mugabe — the only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country gained its independence from Britain in April 1980 — is facing the biggest challenge to his 36-year rule.

The increasingly frail nonagenarian and Zanu PF are battling growing unrest among the country’s restive populace, which blames his government for presiding over the country’s dying economy and the deepening rot in the former regional breadbasket.

Since the economy began experiencing serious turbulence, including witnessing banks running out of cash, the government is under growing pressure as angry Zimbabweans have mounted seemingly unending demonstrations.

Two weeks ago, heavily-armed police ruthlessly crushed a demo organised by 18 opposition parties before they invoked a controversial ban which was later ruled unconstitutional by the High Court.

But on Tuesday police issued another decree prohibiting demonstrations in central Harare, setting themselves on a collision course with opposition parties and pro-democracy groups who have vowed to defy the measures which they say are draconian.

Comments (28)

This is disaster.pakurwa.I now see why cde ngwena declined this position bfo it was offered to cde chinamasa.He knows his boss double standards.Simple thing is to retire the oldman.

viola gwena - 15 September 2016

Is the big issue about Chinamasa and Mugabe? I do not think so. Cecil John Rhodes created a system of undermining the well-being of Africans and this system is currently being maintained/supported by white supremacists in Zimbabwe. Their symbol of power is that Cecil John Rhodes is buried in a grave in granite rock. It is most unfortunate that Zimbabweans take issues of symbols of political and economic power lightly. How do you honestly build a house on top of a white man's grave and believe that you will be in control of the affairs of your household? # Rhodes must go!

ADF - 15 September 2016

Bob is just a useless leader. I wish he was assassinated way back in time cz to kill him now is just a waste of time...Otherwise...he is just a leader with a Portuguese style of leadership. He belongs to the like of Samora Machel, Mengistu and Antonio Dos Santos....mbavha zema Leaders....Imagine how Mozambique was going to be naSamora...the same with Bob... he is of a Mozambique decent.....the qualified Robbers and Muggers of Zimbabwe..but the end is nigh because he has no solutions for solve Zim economic problems rather killing and intimidating innocent souls is the only solutions. Vanhu havachada Remember Thomas Mapfumo..Asingade anenge asingade...munhu haamanikidzwe kuita zvaasingade..Bob is the forcing vanhu asi havachada.....Come 2018 tichaoneera vanhu vachitsvaka alsylum kuAsia... Satanics, Devils...Murders running a Mafia government. Hezvo mari hamuchina mamama and muchamama muzita rajesu

Clemence Tashaya - 15 September 2016

ADF, Rhodes's bones can never damage the thinking of living people. Blaming the under-performing economy on Rhodes's bones is very unreasonable.

machakachaka - 15 September 2016

It shows that the president is no longer fit to govern. One would have thought that these issues are discussed in cabinet before publicly announced. Or maybe the president uses these announcements to fool the people that he is caring.

Shumbaimwe - 15 September 2016

This is equivalent to voodoo economics either way. I wonder why anyone is still trying superimpose conventional economic tools and solutions on a lifeless economy like Zimbabwe's. The truth is that both Chinamasa and Mugabe approaches are doomed under the current national economic coma. Only emergency recovery intervention will save the day as no amount of tinkering on the edges will suffice. Who does not need a regime change under these circumstances ?

jaikolu Maison - 15 September 2016

excellent intervention from his excellency,once again the president has demonstrated that he will side with the vulnerable,if chinamasa is serious about cost cutting,there are many measures he could have undertaken starting from him giving up his mercedes benz,why should the masses bear the brunt all the time?why target civil servants when common sense clearly shows cost saving measures can be employed without retrenchments,the minister must abandon a factionalist aproach to the economy,the govt must first of all plug all revunue leakages and wastage,how does the retrenchment of medical personnel result in a better zimbabwe?

truth - 15 September 2016

Is Robert Mugabe an intellectual, an a academic, a pragmatist or what? This man is not a dictator, no but ignorance is his biggest nemesis! What did he study and practice in his life? How does he relate power, governance with national economic management? Above all, how many of Mugabe's ilk do we have in Zim; people we are told holds this PhD but can't demonstrate basic semblance of sanity around the subject in practice. Finance ministry circus is replete with similar instances of this type of lunancy; from Chidzero through Murerwa and Makoni. Its only man of integrity like Nkosana Moyo who acted upon realising they were being led by an 'ignorant but claiming economist'. Only discussion should be on how to send him packing; peacefully tough coz he can even cause more damage once we try violence. All other strategies such as establishment of NTA will give him a life such as GNU experience! I still love you all!

Save - 15 September 2016

Failed economy being run like a Wifi by failed and despotic leaders. Haaah...Zim has become a laughing stock indeed. But from the look of things ..the Robbers and Muggers are living in denial indeed. Vanoti zvinhu zvirikufaya...he is surrounded by mascots for real. Vakomana mukati ichava nyika here nyika yedu yeZimbabwe....Oooh but God is not a fool.....Mirai tinone kuti vazvika kupi...Robbers and Muggers indeed. Vachamama chete muzita raJesu

Clemence Tashaya - 15 September 2016

Mugabe is like Assad of Syria. If we revolt he will destroy this country like Assad has done in Syria

Mushawasha - 15 September 2016

the simplest thing chinamasa can do is to resign! call a spade a spade

chris - 15 September 2016

Civil servants muri kuvharwa naBob. There is no humiliation in actual fact. This ia a calculated move: to put you in suspense first (by Chinamasa) and then Bob comes in later pretending to be the saviour. Hamusati machidzidza chidhara ichi nanhasi ?

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 15 September 2016

Hon. Min Chinamasa, you have done your best under the prevailing circumstances,for you to continue banging your head against the rock is unreasonable. stand up for what you believe give yourself a break and RESIGN. All those with whom you have interacted globally and Zimbabweans at large will respect you as an individual of high integrity.

chombira - 15 September 2016

Am no ZANU PF supporter but will credit Finance Minister Chinamasa with trying to steer the country's economy in the right direction. I cannot even begin to imagine just how painfully frustrating it must be for people like him who see the clarity of the problems confronting this country yet can do nothing about it - only to be publicly humiliated by this vile and evil dictator who seems intent on plunging this country into an even worse state.

Mbewa - 16 September 2016

The fact that the Minister has been humiliated yet the President according to Biti chairs the committee on economic affairs brings us the point that the Minister must do the right thing and resign. How many times does he want to be humiliated? He is a very good lawyer and can use his law knowledge somewhere rather that working under this environment. Even civil servants must understand that government has no money. Period

Dunga - 16 September 2016

The fact that the Minister has been humiliated yet the President according to Biti chairs the committee on economic affairs brings us the point that the Minister must do the right thing and resign. How many times does he want to be humiliated? He is a very good lawyer and can use his law knowledge somewhere rather that working under this environment. Even civil servants must understand that government has no money. Period

Dunga - 16 September 2016

MGABE WILL GIVE CHINAMASA THE MONEY FROM HIS ALPHA AND OMEGA DAIRY

safa ngendlala - 16 September 2016

ADF you show utter stupidity what the hell does Rhodes grave have to do with this corrupt clueless ZANU PF Gvmnt. HMM i mean seriously this gvmnt is hell bent on sending us back to stoneage. AUSTERITY IS THE WAY BUT THIS mUGABE FELLA AND HIS ASS LEAKERS SEEM TO BE SO DWAFT I MEAN DWAFT. THE WAGE BILL IS GOBBLING 98;9 % OF MONEY APO YOU REJECT AUSTERITY NENYAYA YEKUDA KUFADZA VANHU ZVATOTANGA ZVIYA ZVEGORE RIYA RAKAPIHWA MA WAR VETS MONEY THAT WAS NOT ACCOUNTED FOR NEZVE HONDO YEMINDA

NUTTY DREADLOCK - 16 September 2016

DENNIS AYAZ HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH BRILLIANT COMICAL RELEF AT A TYM LIKE THIS (DAMBAREFU)

NUTTY DREADLOCK - 16 September 2016

ADF you show utter stupidity what the hell does Rhodes grave have to do with this corrupt clueless ZANU PF Gvmnt. HMM i mean seriously this gvmnt is hell bent on sending us back to stoneage. AUSTERITY IS THE WAY BUT THIS mUGABE FELLA AND HIS ASS LEAKERS SEEM TO BE SO DWAFT I MEAN DWAFT. THE WAGE BILL IS GOBBLING 98;9 % OF MONEY APO YOU REJECT AUSTERITY NENYAYA YEKUDA KUFADZA VANHU ZVATOTANGA ZVIYA ZVEGORE RIYA RAKAPIHWA MA WAR VETS MONEY THAT WAS NOT ACCOUNTED FOR NEZVE HONDO YEMINDA

NUTTY DREADLOCK - 16 September 2016

Guys munhu uyu avakukanganwa even zvaataura two minutes ago.Chinamasa haangoerekana ataura chinhu kupublic as in a go ahead kubva kuna President.Plus it seams as if Mugabe is now listening to everything & take them serious. Even akanzi idya dhodhi anodya.Just imagine Sekuru vako vane 70years kumusha havachataura zvinonzwisisika,,what about a 92year old fool.Zimbabweans are being lead to destruction. If we continue letting this fool to lead us,,he is going to lead us all to his grave

matsotsi - 16 September 2016

Sekuru ngavabate mudonzvo vachidzidzisa kazukuru dhe nhanha dhe

sambiri - 16 September 2016

Even if Chinamasa resigns,what good wuld that bring to the dead economy.?For personal pride yes he culd resign bt he is nolonger in this for personal reasns bt country.Chinamasa must stay put and wait for options frm g40 the architects of this mess.G40 still want to pursue the failed Zimasert ,to this day.They bluff the oldman into believing Zimaset is still very viable,yet nothing on the ground to show for it.So Chinamasa must stay put or be reshuffled ,simple.The hard work Chinamasa put for IMF to even start talking has all gone to waste.

viola gwena - 16 September 2016

Zanu pf has been using this tactic where mugabe overrides decisions and prop up his ratings in the process creating an impression of a life saver. Its now outdated and can't work any more. As for Chinamasa the guy must simply resign if he truly believes in what is right for the country and get a soft landing. His other comrades fired from zanu pf are battling for life to clean themselves that rusty zanu pf dust.

X-MAN IV - 16 September 2016

This is the final nail in the coffin of Zimbawbe's economy. What a shame that this country has politicians like Mugabe who have no idea how to run a country but just to cling on to power by intimidation.. what more can you expect from a school teacher who spent most time in a jail in Mozambique during freedom struggle only to be crowned as the leader due to his good english..people of the country will die out of hunger and disease but he will go on public money to singapore to get his teeth polished

Ashok Malhotra - 17 September 2016

Chinamasa can't resign and stay alive, or free. Those looters won't allow him to, simple. No one resigns in protest from this government and live to tell the tale. He desperately wants to end his misery and would really take the sack right now. Poor fella.

Disgusted - 18 September 2016

If 25 000 civil servants were retired@ $40 000 retrenchment package each, the bill would be $1 billion, which the IMF could easily fund. Compare this with $15 billion that disappeared into thin air.The $40 000 would have to be paid into the account of the retrenched civil servant, otherwise it would follow the vanished $15 billion.

just common sense - 20 September 2016

you agreed that Biti ainyima vanhu mari of which mari yacho kwakusina . rambai muchiJamuka mai vachauya nehonye

boss ten - 20 September 2016

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