THE move by government to rescind its earlier decision to pay civil servants with residential stands in lieu of cash for the 2016 bonuses after pressure from its workers should serve as a lesson for the future.
Source: Mugabe must stop abusing people’s rights – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 8, 2017
Comment: NewsDay Editor
In fact, President Robert Mugabe should have learned that his government cannot continue to take people for granted anymore, hence, there is need to be pragmatic in dealing with people issues.
It is no longer business as usual when government’s maladministration has caused so much trauma, pain and created a huge poor population than there was during successive colonial regimes.
Mugabe and his clique should actually be bowing their heads in shame after all that happened during the negotiations. What is even unfortunate is that at a ripe old age of 93, Mugabe believes he still has something to impart to the country after 37 years of fiddling with the majority of Zimbabweans’ lives.
Zimbabweans were always surprised that the civil servants, the bulk of them earning anything below the poverty datum line, had indicated a long time ago that they wanted their bonuses in cash, yet Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira was determined to force them to accept residential stands from the cash-strapped government.
It boggles the mind why Mupfumira thought stands were a better option. We are happy that the civil servants were able to see through the hypocrisy feigned by Mupfumira and her clique.
It is clear that the Zanu PF government is now clueless, and not able to rescue the sinking economy, except trying to force their unpalatable half-baked solutions down the throats of the suffering Zimbabweans.
We believe in future, any deadlock can be defused only if parties come to the table to resolve their differences, rather than the Zanu PF way. Government must accept that the Apex Council, the umbrella body for all government workers, is an equal partner in this regard.
It should be noted that government’s arrogance forced a strike in the health sector that obviously caused serious loss of human life. The education sector was warming up to a nationwide industrial action when the government finally saw the need to give in to the demands of its workers.
If government had taken its workers seriously and negotiate in good faith, the strike could have been avoided and precious lives could have been saved. These sad developments though should teach government that it cannot continue to trample on the rights and desires of the people and hope to get away with it.
Government should always make good its promises. The reaction by civil servants should be a call to Mugabe to honour his pledge or face people power, especially with the 2018 general elections fast approaching.
We commend the resilience of the majority of Zimbabweans, and urge them not to be cowed by Zanu PF’s use of ideological State apparatuses or force as the country gravitates towards the harmonised elections.
To the generality of Zimbabweans, victory is certain when people act in unity just like the government workers did.
The developments show that if people stand firm against the abuse by Mugabe’s government, they will always emerge victors.
The majority must ensure that no one should take advantage of them; they should also reject politicians’ lies be they Zanu PF or opposition and/or be duped by the government.
It is time to stop this madness, and the people who have borne the brunt of corruption, bad governance and ill-treatment by the regime must stand up.
But when the time to vote comes, they should use their vote wisely and avoid casting their ballots with emotion. Zimbabweans must beware of dictators who are also rampant in opposition politics!