Fat cats too must feel pain of ordinary citizens

THAT the majority Zimbabweans have started feeling the pain of Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s economic reforms as a necessary rite of passage in the healing of the Zimbabwean economy which has been sick for far too many years, is not in doubt.

Editorial

However, while all citizens understand that there could be no going back on the raft of measures introduced to deal with the haemorrhaging economy, more painful, perhaps more than the new tax regime itself, is the fact that some top government officials who contributed to the economic demise helped themselves to national resources, were never brought to book.

Indeed, now that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned Zimbabweans that there would be no going back on the tax reforms, and that the citizens must take the pain, it is important that the President declares corruption a curse which retards development for it to receive the required attention it deserves.

Otherwise the measures to restore the economy would come to nothing if the usual suspects continue to roam the streets like free birds.

For instance, is it not true that there are still several multiple farm owners who have reduced the farms they grabbed into wastelands, forcing the country to waste precious foreign currency importing food and other needs which may as well have been produced locally?

Why have these individuals not been investigated and much greater pain visited upon them, rather than ordinary citizens who are already being heavily taxed to pay for the crimes committed by the ruling elite and their acolytes?

It is not in doubt that several current and former Cabinet ministers owe power utility Zesa Holdings several thousands of dollars in unpaid bills. What kind of pain is going to be visited upon them? Is it not the ordinary person again who will take the pain on their behalf simply because they are “powerful and untouchable” even as they are still on the farms?

Regrettably, particular individuals partly responsible for government’s profligate spending have remained in its employ. Some even driving luxury vehicles and living in mansions bought by government loans that could have been invested into farming activities.

Yet, now we have the rest of the population forced to help them carry their cross. In fact, theirs is probably a lighter load because they are already economically well-up compared to the rest of the population that played no part in their excesses.

As part of the measures, if the government is, indeed, genuine as it would have us believe, these fat cats should be made to feel the pain more.


Buying new luxury vehicles for legislators and chiefs, for instance, should not just be temporarily halted in the face of a cholera outbreak, but should become a new culture in which public officials must be content with basic and efficient, but cheaper vehicles that will help them get the job done just as the luxury vehicles would have.

We believe Mnangagwa should extend such austerity measures to the fat cats in government so that they also endure the pains of economic liberalisation Ncube is preaching about.

Making the economy “happy” at the expense of ordinary Zimbabweans does not cut it. In fact, it must cut across the board. Indeed, as the President rightly said, the challenges are primarily centred on the need to contain internal and external debt — of which ordinary citizens had nothing to do with that debt, except government.

We understand why Mnangagwa is passionate about the economy, he must be assured that we are all in it too, but we demand sincerity. The President must also consider the feelings of the citizens, and eradicate corruption, which has eaten into the nation’s social fabric.

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12 Comments

  1. Comment… Absolutely.Well put.Last year they have a habit of buying new cars then after a few years selling them to themselves at a ridiculous book price and buying more new cars for themselves again.Ministers,Deputy Ministers,Judges , Parliamentarians, Permanent Secretaries ,Directors etc.
    The urban populace will bear the brunt of these painful measures while the government will take the bulk of the money and give it to Sakunda to go into the black market to buy agricultural outputs for the rural folk under a Command Agriculture scheme which is not budgeted and whose repayment figures are not tabled in Parliament.
    While ED tell us Zimbabwe is open for business we see that Army has mining companies which are grabbing chrome claims from Zimasco,Zimalloys,Rio Tinting and individuals.How does this help restore investor confidence? The army was in partnership with Anjin in Marange.Does anyone know how much it earned? Does the Army pay taxes on revenues earned? Why does the Army become involved in business? Don’t they get a budget allocation.

  2. well said..i wish those people would read such articles as they say that they are a listening leadership…

  3. ED said government was going to issue official cars only to top civil servants but up to now every jack and jill runs around in a government vehicle. Who pays for fuel, servicing, tyres and repairs? Please be serious Mr President!

  4. These measures will not improve the economy, they will only help Government to meet its bloated payroll commitments. But, as the bond plunges in value 2% will be totally inadequate.

  5. There is no need for MPs and ministers to be given vehicles for free yet they are all workers infect they must be facilitated to get vehicles loans to pay for themselves with their own salaries

    1. Politicians exist solely in order to provide solutions to problems that we would not have had if those same politicians didn’t exist in the first place.

  6. havana tsitsi nevanhu varikutodakugara munyika voga

  7. Economic reform without political and government reform leads nowhere. All these efforts will come to nought in a few years time. The problem is not the economy, it is Zanu pf. Reforming the economy without removing or reforming Zanu pf will only work for a few years.

    This economic malaise is cyclical and we have had many collapses and reforms since 1990. By 1990 the economy was collapsing hence Esap and other subsequent programs. By 1997/8 the economy was in trouble coz of War Vets payouts and DRC war. Come 2008 the economy tanked under hyperinflation. Fast forward 2018 we are back in economic doldrums again. There is only one constant in all this-Zanu pf. So go ahead waste our time. we have had and bore this pain countless times from 1990.

  8. Well said Newsday. All those Range Rovers and more expensive than Benzes SUVs driven by Principal Directors alike should be removed from Government fleet and also the disposal of government vehicles still in good condition to users at ridiculously low prices should be stopped. The common man suffering badly but if austerity measures are publicly seen to be administered equitably then there will be no bitterness in the laymen.

  9. You can’t condemn/blacklist a program (CORRUPTION) in which you are a major founding stakeholder and still continues to pull the strings in its consolidation!!!!

  10. Wasting people ‘s time discussing things without solution while the big fats are enjoying

  11. Very bad indid

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