via Chinamasa was right on bonuses – DailyNews Live 17 December 2015
HARARE – The government’s decision to stagger civil servants’ bonuses at a time when Treasury is struggling with depleting coffers smacks of hypocrisy on the part of those in power.
This week, soldiers failed to access their promised bonuses — for the second time in two months — and there is no guarantee that any civil servant will get the 13th cheque any time soon considering that university lecturers and pensioners are yet to receive their November remunerations.
What is sad is that the one who promised civil servants their bonuses, against conventional wisdom, will soon be flying out for his annual vacation after spending millions of dollars at an expensively-assembled talk-show in Victoria Falls. President Robert Mugabe should have been man enough to allow Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s sobering and bold decision to suspend civil servant’s bonuses until 2017 to stand in light of deteriorating economic conditions in the country.
Chinamasa’s decision to reduce government recurrent expenditure in addition to staff audits and channelling of more resources to infrastructure development was not only a tough and painful measure but very necessary, considering the Zanu PF-led government’s fiscal quandary. This situation should not have been unique to Zimbabwe alone as governments the world over have adopted such drastic measures to balance their books.
During the recession in Europe, several governments made cuts in pensions and health benefits, so it is not entirely a new thing, but unfortunately common sense is not so common in the former liberation war movement — where every decision made is viewed in relation to votes likely to be gained.
For the past 35 years, Zanu PF has plundered national resources and maimed and displaced millions of people through controversial and chaotic policies such as the land reform exercise and Operation Murambatsvina. Since the country embarked on the fast track land reform programme at the turn of the century, Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector plunged to an all-time low, putting the country’s food security at risk.
It is a public secret that Zimbabwe was once considered one of Africa’s success stories, with its modern roads, strong education system, low crime rate and diversified economy.
Economic growth from 1980 to 1989 averaged a robust 5,2 percent in real terms, and though it slowed from 1990 to 1999 because of questionable macroeconomic policies, it still averaged 4,3 percent during this period.
After the land reform exercise, Zimbabwe’s economic growth went into the negatives until it was rescued by the inclusive government in 2009.
Instead of promulgating investor friendly policies to promote industrial growth in an effort to create fiscal space, Zanu PF cronies are always thinking of ways to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor.
Zimbabweans deserve political leadership that has the people’s needs at heart.