25 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Government Defers Payment of Civil Servants Salaries

Photo: Nehanda Radio
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Government coffers are so dry the ruling ZANU PF government has deferred payment of salaries for civil servants this month.

The opposition MDC-T said this was a sign that ZANU PF has failed to run the country and does not have a clue how to turn around the economy. A statement last week from the Ministry of Finance stated that the date for salaries had been moved from 25th to 27th March.

Economic analyst Luke Zunga told SW Radio Africa's Speak Out Padare program on Tuesday that the deepening financial crisis has already eroded public services and there is a danger some of the services may shut down entirely if the government fails to find money to pay its wage bill. The country's donor community is currently attempting to fill the many gaps created by poor public service delivery.

Civil servants and teachers' unions have already threatened to stop work if salaries are not paid on time.

'The economy in Zimbabwe is doomed. The obstacle to revive the economy is Robert Mugabe. He has gone astray with his policies and everyone has followed him towards the destructive path he has taken,' Zunga said.

The analyst said he predicts a situation were the country will constantly struggle to pay public service salaries unless there is a complete rethink on where they're going as a government.

'They are probably surviving on handouts to pay civil servants now. Unfortunately for political reasons, the unity government failed to implement recommendations contained in the Global Political Agreement that would have solved problems being experienced now by this present government,' added Zunga.

He warned that failure by the government to pay its uniformed forces will have dire consequences, not only in Zimbabwe but the whole region.

"A security threat with regional implications will emerge when government fails to pay the army and police,' said Zunga.

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