Mugabe’s 2M jobs go up in smoke

via Mugabe’s 2M jobs go up in smoke – The Zimbabwean 6.8.2015

It is now exactly two years since President Robert Mugabe controversially won a seventh term in office on the back of a missing voters’ roll and the promise of 2,2 million new jobs. Following his stolen victory, Mugabe and his party frenetically ran around, to China, Russia, India – anyone who would let them through.
It is now exactly two years since President Robert Mugabe controversially won a seventh term in office on the back of a missing voters’ roll and the promise of 2,2 million new jobs.
Following his stolen victory, Mugabe and his party frenetically ran around, to China, Russia, India – anyone who would let them through customs and immigration  – in search of funding for the much hyped ZimAsset. Despite making several east-bound flights, with tail between legs and cap in hand, Mugabe has been rebuffed wherever he has gone.
In China, he was sent away with monopoly money, in the form of worthless memoranda of agreement and a few bags of rice – ‘we want bankable projects, here’s some rice. Food for thought, Bob.’ In India he came away with more rice. Word must have got around about Zimbabwe’s veneration of ‘rice and chicken.’ In Russia, Mugabe who normally slouches in his seat due to old age, literally sat on the edge of his chair, leaning forward as if expecting Vladmir Putin to throw him a bone. In contrast, Putin leaned back in his chair, wearing that expression that says ‘you wish you were me.’
Now, two years after making unachievable promises, Mugabe will have to sit down, unravel his serviette and savour a generous helping of humble pie. Apart from David Whitehead’s revival, which created 200 jobs, there has been no progress on the employment front.
In the last fortnight alone, over 6,000 employees have been dismissed by companies seeking to cut costs in a difficult operating environment engendered by Zanu (PF)’s dim-witted policies. Mugabe would probably have pointed to sabotage by his detractors, as he always does, but now even his own ministers have begun to sack employees, in direct contradiction of ZimAsset.Govt increases unemployment
State owned National Railways of Zimbabwe has ‘let go’ 355 workers. Transport minister Obert Mpofu admits that NRZ’s railway lines and fleet are antiquated – most of them as old as 40 years. In-between tracks, the grass is tall enough to hide a small child. Railway signals do not work and engine drivers communicate via mobile phone. Imagine that – ‘hey, I’m heading east, if anyone is in my way basopo!’
The dismissal of 355 railway employees is only the first batch of sackings. About 900 more workers are expected to make tracks out of the railway yard – and all that after Mpofu’s promise to revive the parastatal.
‘We envisage that once these engagements (with investors) are concluded, NRZ will again rise to its full potential. In fact, negotiations have progressed well up to this point and we are looking to an agreement soon,’ Mpofu said, in June 2014. ‘Soon’ has turned out to be over a year.
Charity begins at home. It was obvious Mpofu would fail in his attempts to save NRZ. After all, his own enterprise, Allied Bank, collapsed leaving 250 workers jobless. Despite NRZ’s straitened circumstances, in February, Mpofu seized a whole train in order to ferry Zanu (PF) supporters to Mugabe’s birthday party held in Victoria Falls. At its peak, NRZ moved 18 million tonnes of cargo a year. Now it only transports three million tonnes annually.A tradition of not caring
Air Zimbabwe has joined the list of state enterprises that are flying in the opposite direction of  Mugabe’s ZimAsset hot air. The national airliner has sacked 10 managers and more dismissals are expected. The news coincides with reports of shortage of A1 jet fuel at the national airline. None of this makes sense. There is no money, but Mugabe has commandeered Air Zimbabwe planes no less than 20 times for his trips abroad this year.
Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) has told 100 employees to hit the road. In September 2014, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa expressed concern over the government’s high salary costs.
Chinamasa said, ‘I am embarrassed that our wage bill is some 76% of whatever revenue we receive… It’s not sustainable.’  After dropping hints since then, Chinamasa has now announced intentions to cut government wage bill by 40% which might mean job losses.

COMMENTS

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    Expat 7 years ago

    Collateral. A term synonymous with finance as every business in Zimbabwe that has struggled through the period since zpf decided to follow their personnel aspirations. And something that has disappeared for Zimbabwe since zpf started following their personnel aspirations! No matter how good the deal is without collateral money does not get lent!

  • comment-avatar

    The Zanoids have always seen any business or operation such as NRZ as just another section of the feeding trough, there to be looted until it is dead.