THE Welshman Ncube-led opposition MDC has called on President Robert Mugabe’s administration to reduce government’s expenditure bill by cutting down on foreign travel instead of trimming the civil service.
by VENERANDA LANGA
In a statement, party spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi said government should also curb the abuse of State resources by First Lady Grace Mugabe during her rallies.
Chihwayi said government should also remove youth officers from its payroll, as they were an unnecessary burden to the taxpayer.
“There are many other sources of revenue that government could focus on, rather than shifting the burden to struggling teachers, and civil servants,” he said.
“It is our contention that as long as government does not first deal with the incessant spending of its bloated Cabinet, unnecessary and pointless foreign trips by President Robert Mugabe and his equally bloated entourage and put a lid on corruption, all its talk of cutting unnecessary spending is insincere.”
“We view this as a new low for President Robert Mugabe’s government, whose wife Grace’s flaunting of obscene wealth through dishing out all sorts of goodies at Zanu PF rallies is in direct contrast to the country’s failing economy.”
In his 2016 National Budget statement last Thursday, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announced that Cabinet had agreed to rationalisation of the country’s public service to reduce the wage bill, which is currently gobbling 80% of the budget.
Chinamasa said his $4 billion 2016 National Budget would endeavour to save $14 million per month, and $170 million per annum by cutting the civil service wage bill.
The budget presentation also revealed that Mugabe spent $33 million on foreign travel.
He said the proposed measures were to rationalise youth officer posts at ward level, rationalisation of the Ministry of Youth’s Harare and Bulawayo metropolitan provincial structures as well as the Ministry of Women Affairs provincial structures.
Rationalisation of extension worker structures at ward level, and the Ministry of Local Government’s provincial and district office structures for Harare and Bulawayo provinces would also take place.
Other measures include the review of the vacation leave policy in the education sector, rationalisation of student teacher allowances, withdrawal of support to non-formal education and to funding of bridging programmes offered by tertiary colleges, non-payment to teachers at trust schools, and other measures.
“Additional savings are anticipated from expenditures on our foreign missions,” Chinamasa said.