PLANS by the Zimbabwean government to cut 25 000 jobs will not solve the country’s economic problems, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says today (Friday) following finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s announcement during his Mid Term Budget Statement yesterday.
ZCTU secretary general, Japhet Moyo, said it was most likely that the government would target the lowly paid workers, which would not lead to any significant cut in its wage bill.
“ The targeted 25 000 will be lowly paid workers; leaving directors, a bloated government and retired army generals who are double dipping from the army and some parastatals because we know the chefs are not going to target themselves,” Moyo said.
“Mariyawanda Nzuwa spends $200 000 on his cellphone, showing that our priorities are warped. Do we need to deploy ambassadors everywhere, even where we don’t have any economic interests? If you see the type of vehicles driven by the Norwegian minister and compare them with the vehicles driven by Zimbabwean ministers, you would think Zimbabwe is Norway. They have a much bigger and stronger economy than us but they drive very modest vehicles.”
Moyo adds that the targetted workers are actually ghost workers who had been put on government payroll by the ruling party.
“There was a public service which was carried out but never public although its results are known. There are people who are not supposed to be on the payroll, people who could not be clearly identified but whom we can identify,” he said.
“People employed on patronage, favouritism and along party lines. We also have challenges of duplicate placements and retirees who were asked to return to work, the generals and brigadiers who are getting two salaries.”
He says the government should instead trim it bloated cabinet and abolish posts of deputy ministers whose duties duplicated that of permanent secretaries.
According to Chinamasa the job cuts translate to eight percent of the total workforce, which is said to be gobbling almost 97 percent of the budget, to reduce the proportion of salaries to total revenue to 75 percent by December 2017. – ANA edited by Patience Rusere