Permanent solution to govt wage crisis needed

Government last week announced dates of civil servants salaries for this month and this was accompanied by the usual parochial back patting.

Source: Permanent solution to govt wage crisis needed – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 15, 2016

NewsDay Comment

There were celebrations that there has been an improvement compared to the last two months.

While, there is a slight improvement in the payment of salaries, we feel such an approach to paying wages is unsustainable and in the long run will choke Treasury and grind government business to a halt.

The government should be in a position to plan, and salary dates should be known at least 12 months in advance and are predictable, rather than this helter-skelter approach.

What is saddening about this situation is that the authorities know what needs to be done and instead of listening to the voice of pragmatism, they choose populism, which in the end could prove to be their downfall.

The truth of the matter is that the current wage bill is unsustainable and the government cannot keep ignoring the elephant in the room because they fear if they do the right thing it might cost them votes in future elections.

It just does not make sense that at least 85% of revenue goes to foot the wage bill, as this means government’s fiscal space is constricted in a very significant manner.

The government may bring in bond notes, Treasury Bills and what ever they like, but this is nothing more than papering over a problem they all know how to deal with.

For example, it is high time the government dispenses with youth and women officers in the wards, who are under their employ, and have no idea what their job description is and instead spend time mobilising and campaigning for Zanu PF.

While this may sound unpalatable, it is a bitter pill the government has to swallow if it has any hopes of redeeming this situation.

The government should also cut all unnecessary travel of its top officials, as these are the people that draw the most money in per diems, while President Robert Mugabe should substantially reduce both the size of his delegations on his travels and the number of his foreign trips.

This is not in any way an exhaustive prescription of what can be done, but these are the most immediate steps that can be taken that could have a meaningful contribution to government savings.

Zanu PF governments have no history of allowing economic common sense to prevail, choosing populism, but if they continue on this destructive path, it will not be long before the whole country collapses, heralding the ruling party’s ignominious end.

The time to take hard decisions on the economy and the way it is governed is now, and if the ruling party has the country’s interests at heart, this is an opportunity they should not squander.


  • comment-avatar
    ntaba 6 years ago

    The permanent solution is to get rid of Mugabe and Zanu’s thieving hands from Government.

    • comment-avatar
      Fallenz 6 years ago

      Darn… those were almost exactly the words I planned to write.

      But, before holding out their hand to the West to correct the empty till, first priority of any new administration must be to recover the stolen billions. That will restore legitimacy to the nation and end the lawless-persona that hangs over Zim like a dark, foreboding cloud, which will bring investments, which will begin to restore the economy, bringing hope to the people and repair to the ZANU-PF-destroyed infrastructure.

      (Unfortunately, tribalism will be major stumbling block, which ZANU-PF continue to foster and will use at every occasion.)