Govt lays off soldiers, police

The government could soon retrench thousands of soldiers and police officers, as authorities embark on a staff audit of the security sector as part of efforts to reduce the civil service’s unsustainable wage bill.


Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament on Wednesday the rationalisation exercise was now being extended to the army barracks and police stations to ascertain their numbers.

“We took a decision at Cabinet to do the audit and I think the only remaining ministry to do a staff audit was Foreign Affairs because most of their staff is outside the country,” he said.

“We are now going to proceed to do an audit of the police and army as a first step towards rationalisation.”

Zimbabwe is estimated to have over 40 000 soldiers, while the police force has about 55 000 officers.

Chinamasa did not say how many police officers would be affected by the rationalisation exercise.

On Monday, Home Affairs ministry permanent secretary Melusi Matshiya told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs that police officers made up a sizeable chunk of the civil service.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police also announced recently that a headcount had begun.


In the National Assembly, Chinamasa was grilled by opposition legislators for choosing to call the exercise rationalisation instead of a retrenchment programme.

MDC legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (Proportional Representation) said Chinamasa wanted to be “politically correct” to the extent he refrained from saying the government was retrenching.

“So, instead of him (Chinamasa) coming out very openly and saying, ‘what I am saying here is that there is going to be the retrenchment of civil servants’, he comes in and says that there is going to be a rationalisation of civil servants,” she said.

“It does not say anything. Just say what you think is economically okay, even if politically it will put you in soup.

“I can understand where he is coming from. There is a time that he said that there is not going to be any bonus and he was burnt fingers, head and everything else you can think of. So, I am sure in doing this budget he was sitting there and saying, ‘if again I say there has to be a retrenchment of civil servants, there is going to be somebody at some meeting who is going to say I am not going to do this’.”

Misihairabwi-Mushonga was referring to Chinamasa’s dressing-down by President Robert Mugabe after he said the government had suspended paying bonuses angering his boss, who said Cabinet had not made such a directive.

“The problem with that, Madam Speaker, is that it does not give us something proper to debate because if he had said I am going to retrench civil servants, we from both sides of the House would be saying: What will be the percentage? What are you going to do to make sure that you are not violating the labour regulations? Now, we cannot even debate that because you have left us hanging by saying you are going to rationalise and yet we know retrenchment is the biggest issue that is around it,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

Chinamasa said public service retrenchments would save $14,2 million monthly and $170,4 million a year.

During his 2016 National Budget statement, he said there was need to rationalise the civil service because the number of government workers had ballooned from 203 362 in February 2009 to 276 163 by December 2014, a 35,8% growth.

Government also ordered a freeze in employment by the civil service.

Its failure to pay pensioners timeously has resulted in a decision to reintroduce employee pension contributions at a rate of 7,5% from December 1 to ensure employers and employees contribute to pensions.


  1. @MDC rationalisation was used because the gvt wants to get read of ghost workers. As MDC you have been at the forefront of saying gvt must take actions on ghost workers revealed by an audit done by an accounting firm from India. As MDC you are complaining again, what you want exactly? How are we going to remove ZANU and bring development to the nation with people of this caliber who oppose just for the sake of opposing.

  2. Yaaaaa but Chinamasa should come in the open. Is it not retrencment. Yes or No. People need to know if they are going to be laid off. Not these words which have lots of meanings.

  3. Ingobvisai maBorder Gezi amakaisa kuArmy nekuPolice uko.Zvazooma manje nhai? kkkkkkkk seka zvakp mwana waChivadye.

  4. Surely, the country’s economy can’t sustain a huge army without compromising efficiency.The country needs a small army which is well fed,well dressed,well equipped that would defend the country with vigour.It’s pointless to have a huge army which is poorly fed and ill equipped,that would be a recipe for disaster.

  5. Mr Chinamasa, how much will be saved if the frequency of the presidium’s trips and size of delegation are “rationalised”? I’m sure the $171m you’re planning to save here pales in comparison.

    Rationalise even the perks that you pay yourselves, even investors will be impressed!

  6. Govt lays off soldiers, police

    The government could soon retrench thousands of soldiers and police officers,

    Yaa this kind of reporting leaves a lot to be desired. Which is which Newsday? And people just comment without reading between the lines.

  7. @Gonzo you are right. This type of reportage by Newsday is becoming neuseating. So misleading and and way off the mark. Stupid journalism and reporting indeed!!!

  8. Beef at your security – more crime on the way

  9. So you train somebody to use rifles, grenades,pistols etc and then thereafter retrench that person?? Just watch the upsurge in crime afterwards…

  10. josphat mugadzaweta

    maisokwadzo vamachonyonyo china_masa. the reduction of the army and police was looong overdue. these people are unproductive and delaying the country realising its goals for change that are also long overdue. as to how to proceed with the retrenchments, I have a clue that makes you r work much easier. ever since 2000 you went on a hiring spree loading into the army and police green bombers and zanu pf supporters either without 5 o levels or with 8 certificates combined to produce five o levels. these ones should hit the road first. from there, please proceed to the zhuwao ministry and retrench whoever is there because that ministry is just useless!!! VIVA SAVE 2018 VIVA NYIKA YOREMERA ZANU UKAONA VORETRENCHER MAGUNNERS!!!

  11. What then happens to the money that they save. They loot it again. Its a vicious cycle. They are the wrong people in govt, period.

  12. we have thousands of ‘youth officers’ roaming around doing nothing, yet they get paid more than teachers

  13. this man by the name Chinamasa is totally confused i think president RG Mugabe should run the finance of this country on his own for a better Zim.

  14. Your headline seem to imply that some have already been expelled yet it is more of a view that bases on current head counts that are taking place.
    You mislead and dis- inform by not stating the correct headlines.

  15. Good news for Zimbabweans, gvt starting to bite it’s self. Zim polishit does not need the convergence of civilians but things will do thega. I smell a civil war #watching zvangu ndiripama terraces#

  16. Its a very good news headline becoz we all know that whatever Chinamasa says these days is supreme & will surely come to pass, just like he said about bonuses & some tried to denounce him but end result……

  17. Who has been retrenched,ndatsvaga ndamushaya ini.Headcount neretrenchement zvakafanana here.Tengesai bepa renyu zvakanaka kwete nemaheadlines ekunyepa

  18. lol, i liked that assessment. train them to shoot hoops and pull off grenades and then dump them on the streets, yes your guess was right these people cant be adopted back to society as naive civilians.

  19. wow, he doesn’t know how many humans he is paying? so how was he budgeting and giving the money to? no words for such failure

  20. If comrade minister is saying we have such small numbers in police he might not be adding numbers correctly. Revisit the post ballot l think the numbers were 200 000ish. Comrade minister are you really serious? I still remember the postal ballots were very huge in numbers.


    This is playing with fire and am forseeing ‘trouble’. First, the govt should downsize the ministers, senators and number of ministries. Really really God must intervene becoz there is gonna be trouble, IF this retrenchment exercise is not with care.


    If this retrenchment is not done with care, there is gonna be trouble.

  23. “rationalisation” is the “politically correct” statement to mean a “politically correct” action of trying to convince China and the IMF that they are “serious” about reducing government expenditure..
    Although in actual fact, this will remain a “political statement” as the same government which does not fire youth officers, who are unarmed, cannot fire armed forces…
    its just not going to happen

  24. goodchildgonebad

    Newsday stop this alarmist stuff about retrenchment where there is non.An audit entails a look at figures,things etc to see conformity to a benchmark thats balancing this as in an equation.No one has been retrenched sofar no need for that maybe after a head count there shall be retrenchment then thats a story for another day.

  25. my Aunty Brianna just got a great Lexus IS F Sedan just by some parttime working online with a macbook…

    ➧➧➧➧➧➧➧ w­w­w­.­h­o­m­e­s­a­l­a­r­y­1­0­.­c­o­m

  26. otha countries they creat jobs ..




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