via Travel less, call off polls, MDC tells Bob – NewZimbabwe 15 April 2015
THE Welshman Ncube led MDC says instead of cutting civil servants salaries President Robert Mugabe should suspend the June 10 by-elections, limit his regional and international trips and trim his cabinet to prove that his government was committed to reducing expenditure.
The government on Monday announced that it was suspending civil servants’ bonuses until 2017 because the country has no money.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government was failing to raise enough money to fund state operations due to the shrinking revenue base.
The government has been struggling to turn around the economy and to pay its workers in time for years now.
“We have pointed out before, if the objective is really to cut down on expenditure, the government should look at curtailing top brass expenditure by cutting down on unnecessary foreign trips by President Mugabe and his ministers, luxurious vehicles and perks and holding self-serving by–elections,” Joshua Mhambi, the MDC spokesperson said in a statement.
Mugabe is said have gobbled millions of dollars in regional and international trips which he has been embarking on since last December.
His government is made up of at least 70 ministers who take home thousands of dollars in allowances every month.
The MDC-T recently called on government to reduce by half its cabinet so that it saves money for development projects.
The country is going to hold 14 by-elections in June and a lot more in future as Zanu PF plans to expel more of its members who are currently in Parliament.
All these processes, the opposition says, could be suspended and set aside the funds for paying government workers.
Ncube’s party said the scrapping of civil servants bonuses for the next two years was “shocking” and a clear sign that the “regime” has completely run out of ideas on how to turn around the economy.
“The announcement is shameful to say the least because civil servants are already underpaid and denying them bonuses is an insult and a sign of insensitivity of the part of the ZANU-PF government.
It must be remembered that these are the same people that have continued to give a semblance of functionality in the civil service of this failed state against all odds,” said Mhambi.
The party took the opportunity to blast the recent increase of examination fees saying the Zanu PF government was distancing itself from the people whom it “claims” to have voted for them in the last election.
“This is clearly a violation of one of the fundamental rights of children–the right to education. The majority of our citizens is generally poor and cannot afford to pay tuition and examination fees currently and any increase only adds to the heavy burden.
These civil servants are among the parents who are expected to pay the said increases”.