Fire Chinamasa, ZFTU urges Mugabe

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THE Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU), which is widely believed to be aligned to the ruling Zanu PF party, has described Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa as a pseudo-revolutionary and called for his immediate expulsion from government following his “mishandling of the civil servants bonus issue”.

BY CLAYTON MASEKESA

The call was made by ZFTU secretary-general Kenias Shamuyarira while addressing journalists at the launch of the Zimbabwe Diamond Mine Workers’ Union at Hotsprings in Mutare on Saturday.

“People like Chinamasa should not make such reckless announcements. He doesn’t know how the civil servants are suffering. He should have done research before making such callous announcements,” Shamuyarira said.

His comments came after Chinamasa recently announced that government had suspended payment of civil service bonuses until 2017. Chinamasa’s statements were, however, later dismissed by President Robert Mugabe who declared that the decision had not been approved by Cabinet.

In suspending the bonuses, Chinamasa had argued that the decision was taken in light of dwindling government revenues and Treasury’s failure to meet its financial obligations.

But Shamuyarira said Chinamasa’s arguments were invalid and insensitive to the plight of the poorly-paid government employees
“These are the people that are tarnishing the image of our President. Chinamasa doesn’t know anything, he is a pseudo-revolutionary. He is neo-liberal. We urge President Mugabe to fire Chinamasa. We need competent people to run those ministries,” Shamuyarira said.

“If he (Chinamasa) was so keen to improve the economy, why did he not cut his allowances and perks? Why does he not reduce the foreign trips that are being travelled by ministers and their travelling perks? Most of them (ministers) are very incompetent. A good example is Chinamasa. There are also very corrupt ministers that are misappropriating subscription funds of the poor workers.”

Shamuyarira added: “President Mugabe is surrounded by thieves. At the end he (Mugabe) is being blamed for that. As a union, we are saying no to that. Zimbabwe is a great country, but some people are not doing their work properly.”

Chinamasa last week admitted that he had breached protocol and apologised to Mugabe for prematurely announcing the decision without consulting other stakeholders.