GWERU — MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday made sensational claims that his party has obtained intelligence that government will retrench
200 000 out of its estimated 350 000 civil servants by year end as its coffers continue to dry up.
by BLESSED MHLANGA
Addressing thousands of supporters who gathered in Mkoba 5, Tsvangirai said it was disheartening to learn that people continued to lose jobs under President Robert Mugabe’s leadership.
“When we were growing up during my time, Zimbabwe used to have at least 2 million people employed in the formal sector, Ziscosteel employed 10 000 people during that time, but now we have less than half a million people who are employed in this country,” he said.
Tsvangirai said the current head count which was going on in the public service was meant to retrench workers.
“I can tell you that over 200 000 workers are going to lose their jobs in government mainly because the salary bill of government is laden with ghost workers. During the inclusive government we established that there were over 100 000 ghost workers and most of them were militia who were being used to beat people up,” he said.
Tsvangirai criticised moves by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to suspend bonuses for civil servants just months after suspending other financial benefits which government employees were getting.
“We don’t hate Mugabe. In fact, we have stopped talking about him because he is a testimony of failure whose policies have pushed our people into vending,” he said.
Tsvangirai said if elected into power, the MDC-T would make all land bankable by giving land owners title deeds and attracting direct foreign investment to help restart industry.
“We will have to reverse the policies of Zanu PF which have been destroying the fabric of this country and driving our people into vending. Mugabe has turned this country’s commercial farming areas into communal lands which are not bankable and that cannot be allowed to continue,” he said.
Tsvangirai also took time to receive former Gweru mayor Tedious Chimombe and four other members who had jumped ship to join the MDC Renewal Team.
He said the door was still open for others who had defected to come and rejoin the “big tent”.
“Only in unity and oneness can we remove dictatorship in this country and those who want to come back we should accept them and work together for the betterment of our people,” Tsvangirai said.