VP paid for life

via VP paid for life 17 December 2014

The Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, has set a target to reduce the government wage bill from 82% of total revenue to 35% by 2018 which, at the rate the state spends money, sounds like a pipe dream. Apart from dreaming up departments such as Psychomotor Ministry, our learned President will also ask the taxpayer to continue paying former VP Joice Mujuru’s wages – for doing nothing – while granting similar remuneration to the new VPs, Mnangagwa and Mphoko.

The most senseless ministry, however, is Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees, which could easily have been managed by the Ministry of Social Welfare. This new ministry will require its own offices, furniture, motor vehicle allocation and wages, all of which will come from an already strained national budget. One wonders how this will be managed, given the fact that Chinamasa had already completed his budget for 2015.

Perhaps Mugabe feels he owes his political survival to the war vets who, as always, were used as a blunt instrument to beat off opponents of his preferred man, Mnangagwa. The likes of Rugare Gumbo and Ray Kaukonde were ousted, following well-orchestrated media smear campaigns and demonstrations by ex-freedom fighters. As reward for his part in the smear campaigns against Mujuru, Chris Mutsvangwa has been chosen to head this rather pointless ministry, which may be the result of a recent resolution by Zanu (PF) to increase benefits of war veterans.

In 1997, when government issued pay-outs of $50,000 to each former freedom fighter, the country’s currency nosedived. Mugabe can no longer call on the RBZ’s printing press, given the change to the use of foreign currency. Perhaps the sangoma’s tadpoles might offer a solution. If Mutsvangwa somehow fulfils this mandate, the world’s leading conjurers will want to ask him to teach them his tricks.