via Govt fails to pay chiefs, blames sanctions – NewZimbabwe 19/01/2016
TRADITIONAL leaders say they have not been paid their allowances over the past two months as the government struggles with its finances.
The $300 allowance was have not paid for November and December 2015and the Chiefs are becoming impatient, it emerged Tuesday.
An economic crisis that has lasted more than a decade hit state revenues as the tax collection base collapsed with the closure of companies and thousands of workers being rendered jobless.
Formal unemployment is currently estimated at more than 85 percent with may Zimbabweans resorting to vending which the administration has found difficult to tax.
Government delayed December 2015 salaries for most civil servants to this January and also failed to pay state workers their annual bonus.
Traditional leaders expressed their concern to Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage Minister Abednego Ncube.
Chief Nyoka of Chikomba in Mashonaland East revealed the Chiefs were struggling to survive as they have families to feed.
“We have not been given our allowances and our children are starving.
“We also need a budget for our offices to buy stationary and other basic needs,” Chief Nyoka said.
The Chiefs are also calling for vehicles and fuel allowances given to judicial officials saying they are part of the judicial system in the country.
Minister Ncube told the chiefs that government was struggling to pay them because sanctions imposed by western countries.
“As you are aware, our country has been plunged into this turmoil by the Western world which imposed sanctions on us for taking our land from the whites.
“I promise you that my ministry will do everything possible to find enough funding as we continue to search new avenues to raise the much needed dollar,” said Ncube.
Although the government struggles to pay its bloated 500,000 workforce, President Robert Mugabe still managed to throw a Christmas party for his ministers and top ruling Zanu PF party officials.
The veteran leader then flew out of the country in December for his annual holiday with his family and is reportedly still holed up in Dubai.
The financially crippled government has also been criticised for housing vice president Phelekezela Mphoko at a top Harare hotel since his appointment in December 2014.