Chinamasa: Govt wage bill embarrassing

via Chinamasa: Govt wage bill embarrassing 23/09/2014

THE government’s wage bill is embarrassing and unsustainable, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Tuesday, echoing criticism from the IMF as the country looks to regain access to international credit lines.

More than three quarters of the country’s revenue goes to paying the salaries of more than 250,000 civil servants, leaving little money to pay down debt and to rebuild crumbling public infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals

“I am embarrassed that our wage bill is some 76 percent of whatever revenue we receive. It’s not good, it’s not sustainable,” Chinamasa told business leaders in Harare on Tuesday.

President Robert Mugabe raised salaries for government workers by 14 percent early this year, making good on promises made in the run-up to last year’s election, and moves to roll back the hike would not go down well.

With its finances seriously strained in a failing economy, the government has struggled to pay state workers this year, resulting in frequent changes to pay dates.

Opposition parties have warned the Zanu PF administration that it was risking a coup by unimpressed security services personnel.

“As to the solution… we have to create the necessary political climate, build consensus in order to tackle the issues. I can assure you that we are working on this issue,” Chinamasa said without elaborating.

Starved of foreign investment and donor funding, Zimbabwe’s economy has been sluggish since accelerating at near double-digit rates between 2009-2012, when it emerged from a decade of recession.

The public wage bill has been a source of friction with the International Monetary Fund, which sent a delegation to Zimbabwe this week to audit the nation’s fiscal health.

IMF country representative Domenico Fanezzi said the bill accounted for 20 percent of the country’s $14 billion GDP and urged the government to channel more money to infrastructure development and health services.

“The wage bill is plainly unreasonable. I don’t think Zimbabwe can afford such a high wage bill,” said Fanezzi, the first IMF head of mission to Zimbabwe in a decade.

Chinamasa ruled out retrenchments when presenting his 2014 national budget although he conceded that the wage bill needed to be reduced to more sustainable levels.

The minister said he would bring the salaries budget down from 75 percent of revenues in 2013 to about 30 percent by 2018.

This would be achieved, not through retrenchments, but by growing the economy and widening the government’s tax base, Chinamasa said.


  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 8 years ago

    Is the wage bill inclusive of the useless bloated cabinet and hangers-on?

  • comment-avatar
    Zimpistol 8 years ago

    OK, but what are you doing about it?

  • comment-avatar

    Our government is an embarasssment

  • comment-avatar
    Mambo 8 years ago

    Chinamasa’s reduction in the civil service salaries budget by 45% in 5 years is as pie in the sky as the 2.2 million jobs promised. How is he going to do it? Disband the army? Close schools and hospitals? Where has this fellow been for the past year in office?

  • comment-avatar
    jobolinko 8 years ago

    this is the worst government in living memory of this country

  • comment-avatar

    250, 000 civil servants …. wow !!!! at least 100,000 are ghost workers.
    add the municipal workers, and you can see why we are broke.

  • comment-avatar
    JOHNSON 8 years ago

    you cannot get money when you make stupid policies. This guy is either a true Zuze or plain stubborn, because the solutions are known.

  • comment-avatar

    Ahem……hasn’t the IMF/world bank been saying this since 1980 ????? !!!!!!!! Only nurses doctors teachers deserve salaries. The rest of the rubbish evil service is zanupf rubbish nonsence jobs for the useless corrupt relatives !!!!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    choo-o 8 years ago

    Wazobvumaka chinamasa kuita zvinoitwa neZanu zvinyadzisa

    • comment-avatar
      tapiwa 8 years ago

      I must be missing something from this statement
      “The minister said he would bring the salaries budget down from 75 percent of revenues in 2013 to about 30 percent by 2018.

      This would be achieved, not through retrenchments, but by growing the economy and widening the government’s tax base, Chinamasa said.”

      Is he saying widening the economy and government tax base will reduce it from 75% to 30%. If that is what he is saying then there will be no salary increments till 2018 and or maybe any employees leaving will not be replaced, the army and police will not recruit, there will be no extension of retirement age for ‘war vets’. Generally what he is saying is that the wage bill will remain the same in terms of amount or he will have to somehow increase it but improve the revenue by more than 200%. Would appreciate if someone who has a better understanding can explain this fallacy.

  • comment-avatar
    Nyati 8 years ago

    tapiwa……. Chinamasa has no clue either. His statement has no economic foundation. A budget is based on what you know is practical. Zanu is used to spending what is not there.
    so the man has no clue.
    Resign Patrick.

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 8 years ago

    Did you add the new suits just bought in the USA ? That’ll add another two million to the wage bill of bloated government services particularly the presidential section.

  • comment-avatar
    mukanya 8 years ago

    Your first port of call minister please remove ghost workers. There are there throughout the country young people called ward officers who are doing nothing except pushing political agendas of a political party. From there make sure no government ministry or department retain revenue collected for their own use. Everything should go to the exchequer first. Enough for now

  • comment-avatar

    If ZPF succeed in creating 2.2 millions jobs as per their promise the wage will jump to 110% of the revenue collected. Why cant these morons face reality and resign?