THE Zimbabwean government was lost and running fast in the wrong direction, an opposition political party has said.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson Jacob Mafume told the African News Agency that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF government was “on the road to nowhere fast”.
The PDP is led by Tendai Biti, a former finance minister during the government of national unity between Zanu PF and the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T.
Mafume said the government reached an economic deadend a long time ago, accusing a few elite of stealing the money and saying everyone was now “drowning from the economic mess without a lifeboat in sight”.
“Everyone told Zanu PF that its economic policy was useless and pointless, but they refused to listen. It’s like when they are told they are lost, they seem to want to run fast in that direction,” he said.
The remarks came after the government last Friday, released a statement that pay dates for civil servants had been moved to allow for resource mobilisation.
In a notice Friday, ministry of finance permanent secretary Willard Manungo said: “I am pleased to advise that Treasury has successfully mobilised revenue towards the full settlement of the 2015 bonus commitment.
“However, you are aware that against the background of severe revenue underperformance and related cash flow challenges, government has been honouring its monthly wage bill obligations, albeit, through the continuous shifting of pay dates.
“It is on account of the above cash flow challenges that have necessitated the honourable minister of finance and economic development (Patrick Chinamasa), in his communication copied to yourself, to propose the following pay dates for the month of June 2016, which allow for the mobilisation of the requisite resources.”
The security sector, particularly the army and air force, has in the recent past always been prioritised and instead of getting their salaries on the 12th of every month as usual, their pay dates have been moved by two weeks to June 27.
The police and prisons service personnel will get their salaries on June 30, while those in the education sector, who previously used to get salaries around the 20th of every month, will get their July ones on the 7th.
Those in the health sector and the rest of the civil service will only get theirs a week later, while pensioners will access their payments on July 19.
Government has of late been finding it difficult to pay the civil service and has since resorted to shifting their pay dates.
Mafume said coupled with the crippling cash crisis, government officials were “groping in the dark”.
“It’s the blind leading the blind. They will not have the money. That is why they want to print bond papers and we will all be in deeper trouble. This is a government which, when you deposit money into a bank, they cannot give it back. We are a nation with a leader who has no vision, so we will perish unless we remove them,” he said.
Political commentator Blessing Vava said the latest announcement were signs of “a clueless government which has failed to run the economy”.
After the contested 2013 elections, Biti said Zanu PF could manage to “rig an election, but not an economy.” – ANA